Maidenform 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 intimate apparel specialist Maidenform Brands (NYS: MFB) were getting clobbered by investors today, falling as much as 26% in intraday trading after the company reported third-quarter results.

So what: Wall Street wasn't expecting all that much out of Maidenform this quarter. Earnings per share estimates had the company flat with last year at $0.55, while sales were seen gaining 11%. But the company didn't manage to deliver. In fact, it wasn't even close. Sales crept up a mere 1.6% from last year, while earnings per share dove 20% to $0.44.

Now what: Management's outlook wasn't terribly encouraging, either. The soft bottom line was chalked up to "a decline in consumer traffic in our category" -- which simply means that overall demand is falling. The company sees that continuing at least through the fourth quarter, though it is hoping that new initiatives will help mitigate the falling demand.

All of this hit the company's expected full-year profit, and an "update" to guidance brought down the expected per-share earnings range to $1.73-$1.77. At the midpoint, that's well below the $2.17 that analysts were estimating, and a 10% drop from 2010.

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