When the CFO leaves…Part II

Today’s headline from Silicon Alley Insider reads:
Google Disaster: Comscore Reports Awful January
Reading this article (and numerous other articles about slowing Google growth) and watching GOOG drop from its 52 week high of 747.24 to today’s price of 452.31, I thought back to my post from last September, When the CFO leaves… which I posted upon learning that the Google CFO was intending to leave.
I hate making predictions. I hate putting it out there like that because it sucks when I’m wrong. But looking at GOOG today and all the news over the last few weeks about the impending slowdown in Google revenue growth, I cannot help but wonder that perhaps I could be right on this one.
Now, this post is not about Google the company. Google is still a great company and is doing many great things. But as any person who knows anything about stock trading, stock prices are often more reflective of emotion and feelings about the company and not so much actual performance of the company. So we’re talking about sensing when a stock price has peaked and when it’s time to get out of a certain stock.
Who has great “stock sense”, especially the “stock sense” of their own company? The CFO.
Once again, I see the CFO of a great public company get out of a company whose prospects are riding high. But the CFO is a smart guy; he has access to both proprietary information within the company and also tons of analytical information from external sources about the company, its competitors, and the economy, and the opinions of all his buddies in the financial community. This is far more information than you or I could get hold of. Couple that with a great sense for money and he can predict when the stock is going to peak and, perhaps, when he should exit and take the gains off the table.
So when Google’s CFO announced his departure late last year, I could not help but wonder that GOOG was going to take a plunge within a year. It sure looks that way now.
When the CFO leaves, it’s time to sell all your company’s stock…NOW.