Money Matters - Simplified

China Digital TV Shares Popped/Plunged: What You Need to Know

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 China Digital TV (NYSE: STV) fell or jumped today, depending on whether you are looking atYahoo! Finance or Google Finance, because of a special dividend.

So what: There is confusion over the company's $2.00, two-installment dividend payment and the ex-distribution date of today. There are special rules for a stock distributing a dividend of more than 25% of its stock price, but it doesn't look like those rules apply in this case, so the stock should be trading ex-dividend.

Now what: Long-term holders don't need to worry about today's move because there wasn't any news, but short-term traders should do their homework. optionsXpress experiencedsimilar confusion last week, and the company provided clarification. If you're looking to get into China Digital TV, it's too late for the dividend, and based on yesterday's closing price of $8.98, the stock could fall further once confusion is cleared up.

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