Why Brooks Automation, Inc's Shares Popped 31% Today

What happened

Shares of Brooks Automation, Inc (NASDAQ: BRKS) jumped as much as 31% in trading Tuesday after announcing the sale of part of its business. At 1:30 p.m. EDT shares were still up 28.3% on the day.

So what

Brooks is selling its semiconductor cryogenics business to Edwards Vacuum LLC for $675 million in cash. The business generated $195 million in revenue over the last 12 months, so the premium was 3.5 times revenue.

Management plans to use the funds to "further the transformation of our Brooks portfolio" by growing the Life Sciences business and acquiring more companies. Given debt on the balance sheet of $196.5 million at the end of the second quarter, this additional cash will leave a lot of funds available to buy growth companies.

Now what

The market is clearly excited about the additional cash and Brooks' focus on life sciences. But the real value will be created when management decides what to buy with the money it generated from today's sale. With that in mind, today's jump may be a bit premature until we know more about investment plans.

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Travis Hoium 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.