Corporate Executive Board Plunged: What You Need to Know


Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of business advisor Corporate Executive Board (NAS: EXBD) dropped as much as 14% on heavy volume this morning, erasing about eight months of steady gains in one fell swoop.

So what: This morning's second-quarter report didn't exactly inspire confidence in CEB. Sales rose 8.8% year-over-year to fall just short of Wall Street estimates, while earnings dropped by about 10% and missed analyst targets by 20%.

Now what: Even after this huge drop, CEB still trades at a very generous premium to rivals Korn/Ferry International (NYS: KFY) and Booz Allen Hamilton (NYS: BAH) . Unlike 93% of our CAPS members with an opinion on the stock, I'm not so sure that CEB deserves any premium at all. Attractive sales growth can't make up for a long-term trend of shrinking margins.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.

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