John Bean Technologies Dropped: What You Need to Know


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: On Wednesday, John Bean Technologies (NYS: JBT) dropped as much as 10% before clawing its way back to end the day at only a 2.6% loss.

So what: Thank heavens for small blessings, but what sparked the sell-off in the first place? Excellent question. JB announced earnings after the close of trading Tuesday. Revenues were up 21%. Operating income, likewise. Backlog, however, rose only 3%, and "inbound orders," while not quite so weak, rose only 17%.

Now what: That 17% is slower than the 21% by which sales rose in Q2. ("Look, Mom! No calculator!") This suggests that JB's due for less spectacular growth going forward. In light of this, JB tweaked its earnings guidance for the rest of this year, predicting that it will end 2011 with about $1.40 in profit per diluted share.

And that's the problem in a nutshell. Based on this earnings guidance, JB shares are selling for about 11.5 times this year's earnings. Analysts don't think the company can manage much more than 1% annual earnings growth over the next five years, which gives the stock a pretty sizeable PEG ratio. Add in the fact that JB is currently burning cash -- and has been for more than a year -- and I can see why some shareholders today might choose Jim Bean over John Bean.

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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorRich Smithdoes not own (or short) shares of John Bean Technologies. We Fools don't 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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