Why Nuverra Environmental Solutions' Shares Plunged

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 environmental services company Nuverra Environmental Solutions (NYSE: NES  ) dropped 31% yesterday after reporting earnings.

So what: Third-quarter revenue jumped 75%, to $162.6 million, but net loss exploded from $9.3 million, to $193.7 million, on asset writedowns. One-time charges of $233.1 million for the impairment of goodwill and long-lived assets was a driver of the larger-than-expected loss. 

Management also announced a plan to divest its Thermo Fluids business, which it paid $245 million for just last year. The carrying value of that asset was written down to $145 million, a huge blow so quick after the acquisition.

Now what: There's really nothing positive to report for Nuverra Environmental in the quarter. End markets aren't improving as expected, and divesting from a recent acquisition is a quick reversal of strategy. With losses mounting, and management appearing lost in the current market, I'll happily watch from the sidelines rather than buy in today.

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