Why Ceradyne's Shares Plunged

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 ceramic products manufacturer Ceradyne (NAS: CRDN) fell 14% today after it announced a disappointing earnings report.

So what: Ceradyne's first-quarter revenues fell 29% from a year ago, to $106.3 million, well below the $120.2 million estimate of analysts. Earnings were also well short, reaching only $0.16 per share, below the $0.35 mark analysts had set. Backlog was also down, along with guidance for both revenue and earnings per share in 2012.

Now what: There aren't a lot of positive points I can take out of this earnings report and I'm surprised the stock isn't down further. Management said it thinks conditions can improve from here as Chinese solar manufacturers burn through photovoltaic crucibles that had built up in inventory. The solar market is particularly competitive right now and I wouldn't count on a recovery or higher profits considering the results just reported. With that in mind, I'm staying far away from shares today and wouldn't jump in until we see a consistent recovery under way.

Interested in more info on Ceradyne? Add it to your watchlist byclicking here.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorTravis Hoiumdoes not have a position in any company mentioned. You can follow Travis on Twitter at@FlushDrawFool, check out hispersonal stock holdingsor follow his CAPS picks atTMFFlushDraw.The Motley Fool owns shares of Ceradyne. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.