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Why Zayo Group Stock Surged 52% in 2019

What happened

Shares of Zayo Group (NYSE: ZAYO) gained 51.7% last year, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The stock rebounded sharply to start the year, after the share price plunged in the second half of 2018. In July, shareholders approved a deal for the communications infrastructure company to be acquired by a group of investors led by Digital Colony Partners and EQT Infrastructure IV Fund.

The deal calls for shareholders to receive $35 per share in cash, or a total value of $14.3 billion, including the assumption of $5.9 billion of Zayo's net debt.

Image source: Zayo Group.

So what

Zayo has delivered uninspiring operating results in recent years, so the deal looks like a satisfactory outcome for shareholders. The stock, up 57% since the initial public offering in 2014, has underperformed the broader market.

In the fiscal first quarter of 2020 (which ended in September), Zayo reported growth in adjusted revenue of 2.1%. Reported revenue was down 0.4% year over year, while adjusted EBITDA was down 1% year over year.

Now what

Unless Zayo's operating results take a nasty turn south and cause the deal to fall through, the pending transaction means the stock is not going to move much. The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

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John Ballard has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Zayo Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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