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: For three days straight, we've been treated to a round-the-clock, televised geography lesson on the mountains and mansions of Abbottabad, Pakistan. You might think investors would love to own a piece of the companies whose surveillance pictures of the area helped make possible the discovery of Osama bin Laden. Instead, they're selling off one of these companies -- DigitalGlobe (NYSE: DGI ) -- in droves.
So what: Good PR doesn't trump bad profits, apparently, and DigitalGlobe's admission of a $0.02 per share loss last night has the shares trading down 11% and counting today. Adding insult to injury, management warned that it's going to earn less than anticipated this year -- $0.20 max, or about half of earlier estimates.
Now what: That's simply not good enough to justify the company's $1.2 billion market cap. While DigitalGlobe looked more expensive pre-earnings, at a trailing P/E of 285, its new and "improved" earnings guidance still has the company trading for a triple digit forward P/E. That's several times the P/E at archrival GeoEye (Nasdaq: GEOY ) -- and that's in the best case scenario for earnings.
Fact is, even viewed in the most favorable light, the company's stronger-than-meets-the-eye free cash flow number ($69 million, or about 17 times reported earnings) still has DigitalGlobe selling for more than its growth rate merits. Seems to me, investors selling the stock today have got it right.
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