Taking the Zippy Profit

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, January 2, 2013

It’s always nice to start the year with a boost for one of your stocks — and although Zipcar wasn’t a stock that I had in my personal portfolio (unfortunately), it was one that I suggested to the Irregulars back in May when it was around $9. It had some up and down days in the months following, and was generally down, but their big established franchise finally caught the eye of a company that wanted a one-stop buy into the car sharing space … so Avis has agreed to buy the company for $12.25.

And I don’t see any reason to hold on for several months to wait for a few more cents in the buyout, so if I did own the shares I’d sell them after today’s 40-50% rally in the $12.20 range and be happy with my profit. It’s always possible, I suppose, that the company could get another bidder — but I doubt it. Most other large car rental companies have already started or bought their own car sharing businesses, and I think this is a business that would appeal much more to a strategic buyer than to a financial buyer (like a private equity company). So my guess is that the $12.25 is what investors will get, and it will take three to six months for the deal to be finalized so selling at near that price now and rolling your investment into something more compelling seems like the way to go — if a buyout stock like this trades at a discount to the buyout price it can be worthwhile just to hold, particularly in a low interest rate environment where cash earns nothing, but in a deal like this where a competing bid seems unlikely (to me, at least) and there is no discount to the bid in the current share price, just take the cash and move on.

Or, if you’re me, flagellate yourself for not buying the stock in the first place.

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