When Raytheon(NYSE: RTN) Chief Financial Officer Frank Caine resigned last week, neither he nor the company gave a reason for his departure.

The media speculated his resignation was tied to the SEC's finding that he had violated Regulation FD by telling analysts in February 2001 that their first-quarter estimates were too high. This selective disclosure came one day after a Web broadcast in which he gave no such guidance.

We first wrote about this shortly after the incident, suggesting it would be a good first case for the SEC to prove Reg FD has some teeth. Unfortunately, although the agency concluded they violated the policy, Raytheon and Caine got off with a slap on the wrist. Without admitting guilt, they agreed to "cease and desist" what they didn't have to admit doing, along with the curious punishment of also admitting "the jurisdiction of the Commission over them and over the subject matter of these proceedings."

Still, that incident -- along with the fact Raytheon has struggled, while defense rivals Lockheed Martin(NYSE: LMT) and Northrop Grumman(NYSE: NOC) have done comparatively well recently -- probably contributed to Caine's departure.

While we urge stronger sanctions from the SEC in future Reg FD cases, it's nice to know that even a wrist slap can have some positive effects.