December 2, 2010
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 global logistics provider UTi Worldwide (Nasdaq: UTIW ) were shipped down under today, losing as much as 10% in intraday trading after the company announced its fiscal third-quarter earnings.
So what: UTi registered $0.26 in per-share earnings during the quarter, which was a penny better than analysts were expecting, but that wasn't enough to offset investor disappointment in other areas of the report. Total sales came in at $1.2 billion, which was short of the $1.22 billion that Wall Street was hoping for. In addition, CEO Eric Kirchner said that though pressure on the company's yield -- that is, net revenue as a percentage of total revenue -- appears to be moderating, he didn't see yield improvements offsetting volume weakness in the upcoming quarter.
Now what: The 10% drop in UTi's stock seemed a little excessive to me -- and the market appears to be in agreement as the drop has since moderated significantly. The continued economic recovery should be a tailwind behind transportation and logistics companies like UTi, as well as Expeditors International (Nasdaq: EXPD ) , YRC Worldwide (Nasdaq: YRCW ) , and Con-way (NYSE: CNW ) . However, many of these stocks -- including UTi -- carry relatively high valuation multiples that seem to bake in significant growth ahead. That may make investors particularly jumpy when any of these companies suggest that there may be speed bumps ahead.
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