Focus Media Shares Jumped: 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 battleground stock Focus Media (NAS: FMCN) have jumped by upward of 11% on optimism for earnings that are due out any day now.

So what: The company has not confirmed an official earnings announcement, but it may come as soon as Monday. Late last year, shares were crushed by fraud allegations from famous short-seller Muddy Waters. Investors are clearly hoping that the results will put the fears to rest. The timing of the initial Muddy Waters attack was a little suspect, just a couple of days after Focus Media reported third-quarter results, so the next release would be months away.

Now what: The company has still been actively defending itself as best it can in the meantime, recently announcing a new dividend policy to inspire confidence in its cash flow. Chairman and CEO Jason Jiang even personally purchased $11 million in shares after the attack. Muddy Waters' claims have attracted the short-sellers, with 10.8 million shares held short as of this month, or about 8.3% of shares outstanding. Part of today's move could be shorts scrambling to cover in case the company's earnings come out strong.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorEvan Niuholds no position in any company mentioned.Click hereto see his holdings and a short bio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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