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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 Florida developer St. Joe Company (NYSE: JOE ) jumped as much as 12% in intraday trading as investors reacted to the possibility of Bruce Berkowitz becoming the company's chairman.
So what: There's not much to say here besides "wow." If there were pay-per-view events in the investing world, St. Joe would be a main event with all of us investing die-hards forking over $49.95 to watch legends Bruce Berkowitz and David Einhorn face off. On the long side of the tussle is Berkowitz, and he's looking to take his St. Joe board membership to the next level by grabbing the role of chairman, a position that would give him considerably more control over how the St. Joe story plays out. Investors today are obviously hopeful that he can not only win the chairman seat but also help reverse the market's doubt about St. Joe's future.
Now what: Berkowitz currently owns 30% of St. Joe's shares, and mutual fund big boys BlackRock (NYSE: BLK ) and T. Rowe Price (Nasdaq: TROW ) -- along with four others -- control 40% more of the company. That means that Berkowitz's push for the chairmanship looks very promising.
But does this mean it's lights out for Einhorn and his bearish bet? I wouldn't be so quick to call this one. If Einhorn is correct that St. Joe's land isn't worth nearly what the company claims, it's not going to matter who's chairman -- eventually reality will trump hopeful accounting. In the meantime, though -- even if you're not interested in jumping into the fray yourself -- I'd suggest pulling up a chair to watch this clash play out. No matter who wins, it's going to be a thriller.
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