For many of us out there, Blue Bird (NASDAQ:BLBD) was the bus that took us to and from school, as well as many after-school events. But Blue Bird is also proving an investment powerhouse, up over 36% in Friday’s trading. That’s enough to make a new 52-week high for the bus company and enough to catch a lot of investors’ attention.
The earnings report Blue Bird posted was a marvel. With 44.4% revenue growth—thanks in large part to electric bus revenue, which nearly tripled at 176% against this time last year—it was certainly an eye-catcher. It actually got better from there, as Blue Bird detailed that it had a backlog of around 5,800 units. Then it topped off the flood of good news with guidance, looking for a hefty $2 billion in revenue to come. Blue Bird even managed to win praise from Craig Irwin, an analyst with Roth MKM, who noted that Roth would be buying in thanks to Blue Bird’s rising electric tide.
Certainly, this was all excellent news. It was also a good sign for the progress on Blue Bird’s turnaround plan, which has clearly gone off without much of a hitch. However, there is one new hitch quietly lurking behind the scenes: unionization. Just yesterday, workers at the Blue Bird factories and warehouse in Georgia took a vote on whether or not to unionize, and the voting continues today. Should Blue Bird go union, it may mean quite a bit more in employment expenses or some potential bad press should it fight such a move.
A look at the last five days in trading for Blue Bird shows that things were a little volatile, but not by all that much, at least until earlier today, when share prices blasted up and added better than a third to Blue Bird’s total market cap.