American Science & Engineering Shares Plunged: 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: 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.

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At the time thisarticle 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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