Why HollySys Automation Technologies Shares Were All Over the Map

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 HollySys Automation Technologies (NASDAQ: HOLI  ) , a manufacturer of automation and control technologies for the railway and nuclear industries, had a wild day after reporting its second-quarter results, losing as much as 7% before rallying as much as 15%.

So what: For the quarter, HollySys' revenue jumped nearly 9% to $87.2 million while gross margin fell 640 basis points to 32.1%. Total profit dipped to $0.24 from $0.37 in the previous period. The lone Wall Street expectation on Hollysys had been calling for a profit of $0.28 on $101.6 million in sales. HollySys' management blamed worse-than-expected macroeconomic weakness for its subpar results.

Now what: If you're wondering why on Earth HollySys shares are up, that was answered when the company provided its 2013 guidance of $385 million to $410 million in revenue and $63 million to $67 million in net income ($1.13-$1.20). Revenue is right in line with the Street's expectations, but profit is noticeably higher than the current consensus estimate of $1.10. While I agree that there's definitely value to be had in parts suppliers to the rail industry (especially in China), I have a suspicion that margins could get a bit worse here before they get better and would suggest waiting for a sizable pullback before considering a position.

Craving more input? Start by adding HollySys Automation Technologies to your free and personalized Watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On February 20, 2013, at 5:31 PM, Sams2901 wrote:

    We are fairly certain that today's volatility in HOLI had little to do with their earnings release and a lot to do with program trading initiated during the middle of the lunch hour (12:38-12:39pm). The buyer purchased a series of 5000 share lots, followed by a another 50K lot, all of which occurred in under 30 seconds and effectively wiped out the offer side of the market. The activity likely triggered technical indicators and attracted other traders. You've heard of dropping a stock to take out stops and accumulate shares -- the same is also possible in reverse, and that's what today's activity looked like. We run programs that detect programs and that's what today's trading looked like to us.

  • Report this Comment On February 20, 2013, at 9:19 PM, Sams2901 wrote:

    Adding to my earlier comment, I looked at HOLI's prior quarterly guidance for the past three quarters and found that it was the same as this quarter -- so no surprises there and certainly nothing fundamentally new to the analysts following the company.

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