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 Alexander & Baldwin (Nasdaq: ALEX) closed up more than 16% after the company announced plans to split itself into two publicly traded entities last night.

So what: Due to be executed in the second half of next year, the separation calls for the Alexander & Baldwin name to retain real estate and agricultural interests while a second unit, Matson, takes marine shipping and logistics.

Now what: Investors who hold for the split will receive one share each of A&B and Matson. Will that lead to profit? History says spin-offs tend to be value creators, and A&B's two segments already produce nearly equivalent operating profit. Enthusiasm appears to be warranted. Do you agree? Would you buy shares of Alexander & Baldwin at current prices? Please weigh in using the comments box below.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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