Greif 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 packaging expert Greif (NYS: GEF) were getting grief from investors today as shares fell as much as 15% in intraday trading after the company reported fiscal third-quarter results.

So what: The path to an investor's heart during earnings season is through a better than expected bottom line. It would appear that Greif didn't quite make it during the past quarter.

The company's total sales were up 22% from last year and actually topped analysts' estimates. Profitability, however, fell sadly short and the adjusted profit per share of $1.18 was well below the $1.33 that analysts were looking for. The company's gross profit margin hampered the bottom line as demand, product mix, and product cost increases hurt profitability.

Now what: The bad news didn't stop with the third quarter, though. The company also noted that demand has continued to be at a lower level than last year and as a result management "adjusted" -- ahem, lowered -- its full-year profit outlook. Previously, the company thought it would make between $4.50 and $4.75 per share, but now only expects to rake in between $4.15 and $4.30.

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