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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 GrafTech International (UNKNOWN: GTI.DL ) closed down more than 6% after bottoming out at an 11% loss earlier in the day. Despite beating analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines in its recent report, GrafTech's frankly negative forward guidance caused many investors to run for the exits.
So what: GrafTech's fourth-quarter revenue of $371 million was far ahead of the $317.1 million consensus, and its adjusted earnings of $0.25 per share beat expectations by $0.04. EBITDA increased 26% year over year to $66 million, including a pension charge -- without this charge, EBITDA was flat year over year at $75 million because of a larger charge in 2011. The worst part of the report is the revelation that GrafTech now expects just $30 million to $40 million in EBITDA for the in-progress first quarter of 2013.
Now what: Analysts now expect $0.15 in earnings per share for the first quarter, and GrafTech's low EBITDA guidance seems to fall roughly in that range. This is a cheap company, but the market doesn't seem to think there's any growth ahead. Today, GrafTech seems to have confirmed those fears, at least for the upcoming quarter.
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