Why Maidenform Brands' Shares Fell, Then Recovered

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 women's-undergarment champ Maidenform Brands (NYSE: MFB  ) were dressed down and then dressed right back up by investors today, as shares fell as much as 10% before getting it all back.

So what: It's not hard to figure out why investors were selling off Maidenform shares early in the day. Though the company's second-quarter results topped Wall Street's expectations, the company provided updated third-quarter and full-year guidance that was below consensus estimates. For all of 2012, the company now expects to earn between $1.50 and $1.60. That's well below the $1.78 analysts were looking for.

Now what: Yet investors came rushing back to buy Maidenform as the day wore on today. Why? For one thing, the weaker outlook in the back half of the year appears to be driven by outside forces like the economic weakness in Europe, as opposed to internal business woes or lack of execution by the company. For investors, that means that this is still a strong company, but it just needs some help from a more accommodative economic environment.

The stock's valuation based on management's new full-year outlook is just above 14 times earnings. While that doesn't strike me as a bargain price, it may be another factor attracting investors to the stock.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer has no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter, @KoppTheFool, or on Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.


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