Watch stocks you care about
The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...
Your own personalized stock watchlist!
It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...
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 Harsco Corporation (NYSE: HSC ) were getting off track today, falling as much as 10% after reporting second-quarter earnings.
So what: The engineering and industrial-services provider came up short on the bottom line, delivering an earnings per share of $0.30, below estimates of $0.34. Revenues, however, were better than expected, but still declined 1.4%, to $760 million, beating expectations of $751.9 million. Management cited macroeconomic challenges in its Metals & Minerals business in the report, and said it had planned changes to its operating model in order to create more shareholder value. Revenue in Metals & Minerals, its biggest segment, dropped 8%, and the company's outlook wasn't promising either, as it expects a 10%-12% sales decline in that segment in the current quarter. Overall, it sees EPS of $0.17-$0.22 in the current period, while the analyst consensus sits at $0.39.
Now what: Metals and mining are in an industrywide down cycle as companies like Alcoa and Caterpillar have also been feeling the pain, and management noted lower steel production volumes as a cause. Demand in that arena should eventually bounce back, but for now, shareholders may have to get used to disappointing quarters, like we just saw. Still, the company's seems focused on optimizing its business and creating shareholder value. I wouldn't dismiss Harsco just yet.
You know what I hate? Getting middling returns on my investments while my financial advisor gets rich of the fees. If you feel the same way, I say it's time to break free of the Wall Street BS and start investing on your own. In our brand-new special report, "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," The Motley Fool's personal finance experts show you why investing is so important and what you need to do to get started. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.