General Cable Shares Dropped: What You Need to Know

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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: Tuesday's been a "red" day for the stock market, but few stocks are looking more sunburned today than General Cable (NYS: BGC) , strung for a 15% loss.

So what: General Cable reported a miss on earnings and revenue yesterday evening, throwing in an earnings warning on the third quarter for good measure. Profits were up significantly from last year's second quarter but, at $0.68 per share, missed the consensus number by nearly a dime.

Now what: As for next quarter, General Cable held out hope that it might hit analysts' $0.76-per-share target but only if absolutely everything goes right. At the midpoint of guidance, we're more likely looking at a $0.69 quarter.

This suggests that Wall Street's forecast for 15% long-term growth at General Cable may prove overoptimistic and that the stock's 15 P/E ratio's overpriced. With no dividend to support the stock, and free cash flow looking pretty weak, I can't say as I'm convinced today's selloff is giving us a buying opportunity just yet. Here's hoping when the company finally gets around to releasing its cash flow statement, it will show us that things aren't as bad as they look.

Want more info on General Cable?Add the stock to your Foolish watchlist.

At the time this article was published Fool contributorRich Smithdoes not own (or short) shares of General Cable. 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 adisclosure policy.

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