Why FormFactor Shares Got Bent Out of Shape

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 FormFactor (NASDAQ: FORM  ) have lost 15% of their value today after the company issued a disappointing earnings report before the opening bell.

So what: FormFactor's third-quarter revenue, at $67.6 million, represented a big 64% year-over-year increase -- but was still only in line with Wall Street's expectation of $67.4 million. However, the company's adjusted loss of $0.06 per share came in a full $0.10 below the consensus. FormFactor blamed its weakened margins on "lower than forecasted manufacturing utilization during September ... lower margins on a specific high-volume DRAM design ... increased warranty and service expenses ... and increased excess inventory charges," according to Briefing.com.

Now what: This is a pretty big whiff, and the company's GAAP net loss remains substantial, and actually increased from the previous quarter. On the plus side, FormFactor did report positive cash flow of $1.8 million. In apparently related news, FormFactor also promoted Mike Slessor, senior vice president of the acquired MicroProbe Product Group, to president and installed him on the board of directors. On balance, it doesn't seem like this is a screaming-buy opportunity, since FormFactor has not released forward guidance. However, it could be worth a closer look, if you believe that the company will manage to improve its margins while maintaining strong revenue growth.

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