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 title insurer Fidelity National Financial
So what: Dividends have been back in vogue as investors look to the quarterly cash payouts as a source of returns while the stock market oozes uncertainty. Along with its earnings report on Wednesday, Fidelity National announced that for 2011, it will reduce its target payout ratio -- that is, the percentage of earnings that are paid out in dividends -- to 30% from 60%. Because investors like to see their dividends go in only one direction (up!), the news was met with a nasty sell-off.
Now what: Fidelity National flooded the market with significant news yesterday. In addition to the change in dividend policy, the company also reported better-than-expected earnings, a changing of guard at CEO, and a deal with Bank of America
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Fidelity National Financial is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Fidelity National Financial. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community.
Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his Motley Fool CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policyassures you no Wookiees were harmed in the making of this article.