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Why Liberty Media Corp. Stock Is Down Today

By Jeremy Bowman – Jul 24, 2014 at 3:58PM

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Is Liberty Media's stock move today meaningful or just another movement?

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 Liberty Media (FWONA)were being reported down 65% due to a virtual 2-for-1 stock split as the company today introduced new Class C shares trading under the ticker LMCK.

So what: In May, the media conglomerate said it would distribute two shares of Series C nonvoting stock to holders of LMCA and LMCB stock, thereby diluting the other shares by tripling the number of shares outstanding. Series A shares offer one vote per share while Series B offers 10 votes per share. Companies often create nonvoting classes of shares when they are interested in buying another company with stock. Earlier this year, Liberty expressed interest in acquiring Sirius XM Radio with Series C stock, but Liberty has moved on from that offer.

Now what: Though it may look scary to see your stock drop 65%, there is no change in the overall value of the shares due to the stock issuance, only a change in voting power. Liberty is known for making changes to its stock structure; the company recently announced a decision to split off a segment known as Liberty Broadband under its own tracking stock, which has not yet been completed. Expect more spinoffs and acquisitions from the company in the future, as Chairman John Malone is known for his deal-making.

Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Liberty Media. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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