Aeroflex 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 microelectronics and measurement-gear maker Aeroflex (NYS: ARX) neither flexed nor soared today. Instead, they fell as much as 12.7% on heavier-than-average trading.

So what: $0.08 of first-quarter earnings on $155 million in revenue fell short of analyst targets on both counts. To make matters worse, Aeroflex also offered soft guidance for the second quarter.

Now what: Management has embarked on a cost-cutting program and envisions some orders simply being moved out to future quarters rather than altogether lost. Aeroflex sees promise in the market for LTE handsets, but can't point to a single big catalyst because no single customer accounts for more than 10% of sales. The closest you'd get would be the U.S. government as defense contractors from Raytheon (NYS: RTN) to Northrop Grumman (NYS: NOC) and United Technologies (NYS: UTX) add up to 34% of this quarter's revenue.

Are handset builders just waiting for a bouncier economy before ordering up parts and testing equipment? Can Uncle Sam ride to Aeroflex's rescue? Will the belt-tightening make a difference? I don't have the answers to any of these important questions (though I'd make an educated guess that the answers are yes, no, and yes), but our watchlist feature can help you track where Aeroflex is going from here.

Interested in more info about Aeroflex? Click here to add it to My Watchlist.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Raytheon and Northrop Grumman. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.

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