II-VI 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 specialty materials company II-VI (NAS: IIVI) were getting zapped by Mr. Market today, sinking as much as 20% in intraday trading after the company reported fiscal first-quarter earnings.

So what: Though II-VI saw positive momentum in many of its businesses -- infrared optics revenue climbed 24% while military and materials sales grew 30% -- it was also met with some challenges during the quarter. The near-infrared optics top line was affected by slower spending in the telecom market, while profitability was hurt by product mix and lower military sales. Overall profitability also took a hit from the bankruptcy of one of the company's customers.

The bottom line was that II-VI managed $0.29 in earnings per share for the quarter on $138 million in revenue. On average, analysts were expecting $0.32 in profit per share on $141 million in sales.

Now what: A current-quarter estimates miss is enough to disappoint many investors. But what usually gets investors even more worked up is when a company provides a forecast that is also softer than expected. For the upcoming quarter, the Wall Streeters were hoping that II-VI could deliver $0.35 in per-share profit on $148 million in revenue, but the company's outlook suggests revenue won't be any higher than $138 million and EPS will be between $0.26 and $0.30.

That said, the issues of this quarter and next sound more like a broader industry slowdown than problems specific to the company. So it could be that what's bad for current investors today -- that is, the big stock price drop -- may be good for those waiting on the sidelines.

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