Rambus' Shares Got Crushed: 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 memory-technology licensor Rambus (NAS: RMBS) were absolutely crushed in extremely heavy late-afternoon action. Trading was halted for two hours and opened up some 78% lower. Prices retracted somewhat, but the stock still closed with a massive 60% drop.

So what: Jurors walked out of an eight-week session in an antitrust case seven years in the making, bearing the verdict "not guilty" for memory-chip builders Hynix and Micron Technology (NAS: MU) . The case could -- some say should -- have resulted in a $12 billion damage award, which would have been a game-changer for everyone involved.

Now what: Rambus investors had clearly hoped for a more positive outcome, but it was not to be. On a couple of key questions, the decision was split 9-3 in Micron's favor, which is a far cry from the eight "guilty" votes required to trigger damage awards. In other words, it wasn't even close despite the lengthy deliberations.

Rambus might appeal the decision and could take it all the way to the Supreme Court. As lopsided as the final vote was, Rambus still claims that key issues were poorly presented to the jurors, and you just never know what might happen in the Court of Appeals. Stay tuned -- this drama isn't quite over yet.

Interested in more info about Rambus? Add it to My Watchlist.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorAnders Bylundowns shares of Micron but holds no other position in any of the companies mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check outAnders' holdings and bio, or follow him onTwitterandGoogle+. We have adisclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.