Shareholders of the world's No. 6 chip maker, Infineon Technologies
The company responded with a conference call hosted by a trio of top executives. All refused to comment on the nature of a special board meeting that led to the CEO's departure other than to say it was a "review of [the] current business situation." Basically, they said there would be no change in strategic direction, and that there were no issues with accounting, the balance sheet, or current performance.
Although the management team appears otherwise intact, you have to wonder at the loss, not to mention how the company will perform with a temporary CEO.
Infineon's business is increasingly partnership-oriented. There's a joint venture with IBM
There is also an ugly patent dispute with Rambus
Since being spun off from German industrial giant Siemens
Yet the stock, even after the CEO tumult, trades about where it opened the week -- up roughly 85% for the past 52 weeks. Clearly, the return to profitability is appreciated, as well it should be. Still, at an above-market 34 times estimated 2004 earnings, further upside will likely be hampered by the leadership overhang. At least for now.
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Fool contributor W.D. Crotty does not own any of the stocks mentioned, although he is following the MRAM race.