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 NCI Building Systems (NYSE: NCS ) , a nonresidential metal products manufacturer for the construction industry, shed as much as 10% after reporting its first-quarter earnings results.
So what: For the quarter, NCI Building reported a 22.2% increase in sales to $297.6 million driven by its Metl-Span acquisition last year and by mid-single-digit organic revenue growth in its components and building segments. However, NCI turned in a loss of $0.19 for the quarter, which is significantly worse than the break-even results that Wall Street had anticipated. Gross margin declined 150 basis points as well to 20.5%.
Now what: Based on management's comments, NCI Building's next move is a bit of a toss-up. Management is probably correct in forecasting slow but steady growth in the non-residential construction sector -- with growth ramping up in the second half of the year -- but they also note that sequestration concerns are still largely unknown. Simply put, unknowns are rarely taken with a grain of salt on Wall Street, and NCI is being punished today. Having doubled from its 52-week low and at 22.5 times forward earnings even after today's drop, I'm perfectly comfortable keeping my distance from NCI Building.
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