Breaking Up Is Not So Hard to Do

Several big companies have announced spin-offs. If history is any guide, some of these offspring may beat the market

The investment world is spinning with spin-offs. Conglomerates such as Tyco International (TYC; ranked 3 STARS, hold), American Standard (ASD; ranked 3 STARS, hold), and Altria Group (MO; ranked 5 STARS, strong buy) are breaking themselves into smaller companies—all in a quest to unlock shareholder value.

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