Why Sealed Air Corp. Shares Deflated

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 Sealed Air Corp. (NYSE: SEE  ) had the wind knocked out of them today, falling 24% after badly missing estimates and lowering guidance.

So what: Wall Street had expected an EPS of $0.35 from the maker of branded packaging products like Bubble Wrap and Instapak, but the company delivered an adjusted profit of just $0.20. Including special items, Sealed Air actually lost $0.07/share, or $13.7 million, compared to a profit of $65 million in the quarter a year ago. The global slowdown seemed to be the culprit here as the company blamed "weakness in customers' end markets" for the poor results, and organic sales grew just 2% though its acquisition of Diversey Holdings boosted revenue growth 65%. Sealed Air also sharply scaled back full-year guidance from an adjusted EPS range of $1.50-$1.60 per share down to $1.00-$1.10.

Now what: File this under a long of list companies that have gotten beaten back by a slowdown in global demand and unfavorable foreign currency translation. Still, Sealed Air has taken it worse than most, losing more than 20% of its market value. This is the fourth quarter in a row the company has missed earnings estimates, which should signal to investors that there may be more than cyclical issues at hand. They may want to start questioning the wisdom of the Diversey acquisition; since the deal closed, earnings have been well off expectations. Sales in that segment dropped 7% this quarter, and operating margins were well below companywide levels.

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Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman holds no positions in the companies in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

 


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