August 4, 2011
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: It seems like everything is down today, but Walter Energy (NYSE: WLT ) is down more than most -- 25% and counting. Yowza.
So what: Second-quarter "adjusted" earnings came in at $2.36 per share last night -- well over 40% short of the estimated $3.98-per-share profit. To top it all off, Wall Street investment bankers Brean Murray and KeyBanc both downgraded Walter to "hold" this morning. Ouch.
Now what: Personally, I think the panic's a bit overdone. Maybe Walter missed estimates, but so what? It still generated enough cash profit that, post-sell-off, its price-to-free cash flow ratio is sitting just under 16. This for a company that's put together five years of average 15% annual growth, and which many analysts believe will keep growing in the double digits for the next five years. If Wall Street is selling this one, I want to be on the other side of the trade.
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