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Why Shares of XPO Logistics Are Plunging Today

What happened

On Monday morning, shares of XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO) opened down more than 40%, but there is no bad news to report. The company completed its long-awaited split in two, meaning half of the value is now represented in a different ticker.

So what

Over the past decade, XPO has been a top-performing stock, but in recent years the company's valuation has lagged some rivals. In response, XPO late last year announced plans to split into two more pure-play companies focused on trucking and supply chain management.

Image source: XPO Logistics.

The split became official on Monday, with GXO Logistics (NYSE: GXO), the supply chain business, trading for the first time on its own. GXO has a lot of exposure to fast-growing sectors including e-commerce, while XPO is one of the top less-than-truckload trucking operators with a large freight brokerage operation.

Terms of the split call for XPO shareholders to retain that XPO share, and receive one share of GXO for each XPO share they held previously. In that sense, the value of each XPO share has been sliced, but thanks to the new GXO share, investors haven't actually lost any value.

Now what

If you combine the XPO price with the GXO price, the total value is actually up about 5% from Friday's close as of 10 a.m. EDT on Monday. But expect the data to be messy for a few days as the data sources adjust to the split.

Long-term investors would be wise to ignore the noise and focus on the underlying businesses, and there is a lot to like about both XPO and GXO. The latter has a lot of growth potential as the next big thing in e-commerce, while XPO -- thanks to the split -- has a lean balance sheet and a well-run trucking company that has opportunities to expand.

Don't let the Monday morning price quotes scare you away from two stocks with a lot of potential.

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Lou Whiteman owns shares of XPO Logistics and GXO Logistics. The Motley Fool recommends XPO Logistics. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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