March 30, 2011
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: Acxiom (Nasdaq: ACXM ) dropped 28% in intraday trading today after announcing two key executive departures and guiding EPS down for the current quarter.
So what: Acxiom's CEO resigned effective next Monday, and its CFO announced plans to leave in the second quarter. The company announced it expects non-GAAP EPS of $0.18 to $0.22 for the March-ended quarter, compared to a consensus estimate of $0.24, and GAAP EPS of -$0.49 to -$1.03.
Now what: Acxiom plans a $50 million to $90 million asset writedown this quarter due to poor performance in its international operations. Such writedowns are required if management determines an asset will not generate the profits it once hoped for, suggesting Acxiom's outlook has deteriorated. Furthermore, the departure of a CEO or CFO for reasons other than retirement or a promotion is always worrisome -- particularly when it is sudden.
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