Why Alliance One Shares Tumbled

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 Alliance One International (NYSE: AOI  ) were down as much as 13% today after reporting disappointing earnings in the first quarter.

So what: The tobacco supplier posted a net loss of $0.42 per share on a 7.5% increase in revenue to $383 million. No analysts had made estimates on Alliance's performance so we can't make comparisons to expectations. Still, gross profit dropped by nearly a third from the quarter a year ago as costs rose disproportionately, in part due to expenses taken for restructuring and for lower tobacco harvests in Africa. CEO Pieter Sikkel also noted an undersupply of "burley and other high-quality flavored tobaccos."

Now what: Even without the above expenses last year, the company still reported a per-share loss of $0.35 so the problem may be more structural than simply those temporary hiccups. In addition to the current woes, Alliance has also underperformed the market in nearly every time interval over the last five years. I don't see this stock going anywhere fast, at the very least not until it gets its supply issues in order.

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