The Exchange

Arkansas Best Soars on Teamsters Deal Progress

Trucking company Arkansas Best (ABFS) was having the second-strongest day in its trading history after its largest unit — the ABF Freight System Division — reached a tentative labor deal with the Teamsters, boosting the stock nearly 40%. According to a company filing with the SEC, details on the pact, which involves ABF's five-year contract with the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee,"will be forthcoming." But traders were happy enough with the progress to bid up the shares.

In afternoon trading Monday, the stock was up $4.09, or 38.7%, to $14.64. The only time it had a bigger move was in January 1999, when it jumped 40.4%.

Meanwhile, volume was 10 times that of an ordinary session, crossing 3 million shares. That made for its sixth-busiest trading day ever as of 2:00 p.m. ET.

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Arkansas Best Stock Chart, Year to Date

Being undersized helps here. With a market cap of $375 million, the Fort Smith, Ark., freight hauler is a small-cap stock; little issues, broadly speaking, are more likely to see significant price changes from a given piece of news. Even with the surge, shares trade at less than one-third of their all-time high of around $50, reached in 2006.

Still, it's a major increase that put Arkansas Best at No. 2 on the U.S. percentage gainers list for the day, trailing only MBIA (MBI) and its 46% rise.

As of the April 15 float, short interest was equal to 6.3%, with 1.53 million shares sold short, Yahoo Finance data show.

Factoring in the day's change, shares of Arkansas Best have traded between $6.43 and $14.83 in the past year. Coming into the day, the stock was up about 8% in 2013.

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