Why Abaxis Shares Sank

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 Abaxis (NASDAQ: ABAX  ) plunged 11% today after the blood analysis systems company posted disappointing quarterly results.

So what: Abaxis got axed in July on signs of slowing growth, and today's Q2 results -- earnings declined 72% to $5.7 million on a revenue increase of just 4% -- only reinforce that worrisome trend. In fact, gross margin for the quarter fell 450 basis points to 47.7%, suggesting that its competitive position is weakening rather quickly.

Now what: While Abaxis hasn't given up on year-over-year growth in 2013, management admits that it likely won't happen.

"[A]ll the work that's being done with retail and with clinical research and with the opportunity we have in Canada and the stuff that's going on in Europe, I mean clearly those are huge upsides that are probably not going to happen this fiscal year," Chairman and CEO Clinton Severson said in a conference call. "Now some of it is going to happen this fiscal year but not the really big numbers."

With the stock now off 35% from its 52-week highs, now might be an opportune time to bet on a turnaround in 2014. 

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