American Science & Engineering Shares Plunged: 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: Shares of security-products specialist American Science & Engineering (NAS: ASEI) sank 14% in intraday trading Friday after its first-quarter results came in below analyst expectations.

So what: Given the size of AS&E's earnings miss ($0.61 per share versus the average analyst estimate of $0.98 per share) and the continued broad-market sell-off, it's no surprise that the shares are hitting new 52-week lows today. Lower demand for the company's X-ray inspection systems has been weighing on results of late, and it's obvious that Wall Street expects the worrisome trend to continue.

Now what: Today's sell-off might be providing an attractive entry point. While AS&E's weak bookings remain a concern, the shares are now down more than 30% in 2011 and currently sport a decent dividend yield of 1.6%. With AS&E still expected to grow its long-term earnings at a double-digit clip, the stock's total return potential is at least worth a look.

Interested in more info on AS&E?Add it to your watchlist.

At the time this article was published Fool contributorBrian Pacamparaowns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of AS&E. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.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 Fool'sdisclosure policyalways gets a perfect score.

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