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What Drove Lumber Liquidators Almost 18% Higher Wednesday?

Daniel Miller, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of Lumber Liquidators (NYSE: LL), a large chain retailing hardwood flooring products, jumped as much as 18% Wednesday. This came after Bloomberg reported the company's founder is working on a bid to take the company private.

So what

Lumber Liquidators hit a 52-week low roughly a month ago, has shed 41% of its value over the past year, and has plunged 82% over the past five years. It's been a rough ride for investors:

LL Chart

LL data by YCharts.

Lumber Liquidators' founder, Thomas D. Sullivan, owns just under 6% of the company's shares via F9 Investments LLC; in the past he's pushed for the flooring retailer to explore strategic options including a potential sale. Sullivan also criticized management from straying away from the original formula of low overhead and expenses that helped grow the chain nationwide; he told Bloomberg that management was "spending money like crazy."

Samples of hardwood flooring in a retail store

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Recently, Lumber Liquidators lowered its full-year guidance due to slower foot traffic and tariff uncertainty from escalating trade tensions -- risks associated with investing in consumer stocks.

Between the stock's dismal performance over the past five years, and its now trading at a fraction of its all-time high, investors who have hung on with the company are likely ready for a change. That could be Sullivan convincing management to slash corporate expenses while increasing advertising, or the company going private and providing investors with a small stock-price boost and exit strategy. Sullivan's long-term plan could be to convince banks and/or private equity to take the retailer private, then combine it with his current Cabinets To Go business.

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Daniel Miller has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

This article was originally published on Fool.com