Why Electro Scientific Industries Shares Plummeted

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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 Electro Scientific Industries dropped more than 18% Friday after the laser-based manufacturing solutions specialist beat expectations with its fiscal second-quarter 2014 results, but issued troubling forward guidance.

So what: Quarterly revenue fell nearly 26% year over year to $59.6 million, which translated to non-generally accepted accounting principles net income of $2.6 million, or $0.09 per share. Both numbers beat analysts' expectations, which called for earnings of $0.06 per share and sales of just $58.67 million. 

However, Electro Scientific CEO Nick Konidaris also said second-quarter orders were just $46.2 million, compared to $58.3 million in the fiscal first quarter, as "the demand environment was challenging this quarter, due to a lull in advanced microfabrication demand, delays in the adoption of next-generation strengthened glass, and the absorption of capacity ordered earlier in the year."

As a result, Electro Scientific expects orders during its fiscal third quarter 2014 to be in "the low $40 million range," which should translate to a non-GAAP loss per share of $0.05-$0.09. Analysts were anticipating an adjusted third-quarter net income of $0.17 per share.

Worse yet, management also expects full fiscal 2014 revenue to be down approximately 10% from fiscal 2013. Based on ESI's fiscal 2013 sales of $217 million -- which itself fell 15% from the previous year -- that puts the company's new fiscal 2014 revenue estimate at roughly $195.3 million, or well below expectations for sales of $243.36 million.

Now what: While this quarter's results weren't all that bad, it's worth noting the company is already unprofitable on a GAAP basis. As a result, and given its dismal forward outlook, I can't blame investors for bowing out until Electro Scientific proves it can stop the bleeding.

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The article Why Electro Scientific Industries Shares Plummeted originally appeared on Fool.com.

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