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 telecom and diversified-media company Cablevision Systems (NYS: CVC) were getting a big thumbs-down from the market today, falling as much as 17% in intraday trading after COO Tom Rutledge abruptly resigned.
So what: Stocks often take a hit following the resignation of a CEO or CFO -- could Cablevision's COO really be that important? The short answer is "yes." Wall Street analyst Craig Moffett called Rutledge "the hands-down best executive in the cable business," while The Financial Times said he's "widely considered to be the company's most important executive." The resignation led to stock downgrades from Bank of America, Miller Tabak, and ISI Group.
Now what: It seems tough to put a good spin on this. Rutledge has been credited with navigating Cablevision through a tough competitive environment and helping the company spin off AMC Networks (NAS: AMCX) and Madison Square Garden (NAS: MSG) . That loss could create a significant void in Cablevision's leadership.
In light of Rutledge's resignation, there was some speculation that the Dolan family may try to take the company private. For public-market shareholders, that could be a glimmer of good news, since the Dolans would most likely have to pay a premium to make that happen.
Want to keep up to date on these stocks?
At the time thisarticle was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Madison Square Garden. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.Fool contributorMatt Koppenhefferowns shares of Bank of America but has no financial interest in any of the other companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting hisCAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter,@KoppTheFool, or onFacebook. The Fool'sdisclosure policyprefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.
Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.