Why FARO Technologies Shares Flopped

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 FARO Technologies (NASDAQ: FARO  ) are down over 11% today after the company reported underwhelming earnings for the fiscal first quarter.

So what: FARO clocked in with revenue of $65.4 million and earnings of $0.27 per share, both of which came in below Wall Street's consensus, which sought $67.6 million on the top line and $0.30 in EPS. The revenue result was essentially flat year-over-year, and FARO executives pointed out "sluggish European and Asian markets where order and sales levels remain somewhat weaker than expected" as reasons for the underperformance, but also noted intensifying competition as a challenge going forward.

Now what: FARO is now near the low end of its 52-week range, but has had difficulty making any progress in revenue or earnings over that period, so some share-price stagnation is to be expected. However, deteriorating operating margins (from 12.9% to 8.7% year over year) are worrisome, and at a P/E over 25, FARO isn't exactly cheap. I'd stay on the sidelines without more cause for optimism.

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