CNH Global 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: Shares of farm equipment maker CNH Global NV (NYS: CNH) fell 10% today after reporting a better-than-expected earnings report.

So what: Yes, you read that right. The stock fell after a solid earnings report. Equipment sales rose 27% to $4.77 billion, topping the $4.39 billion in sales analysts expected. Earnings per share of $0.80 came in $0.08 higher than analysts expected.

But investors were focused on farm equipment margins falling to 6.5% from 7.1% a year ago and construction equipment posting a -0.3% profit margin.

Now what: The focus on margins is important for long-term health of the company, but sales and profitability were so much better than expected that I'm surprised by the reaction. Management also said it expected farm equipment demand to be flat to up 5% and construction equipment demand to rise 15% to 20%, good signs for 2012. I'm buying the dip today considering that shares are trading at 11 times earnings and growth appears to be strong and stable.

Interested in more info on CNH Global NV? Add it to your watchlist byclicking here.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Travis Hoium does not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.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 Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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