Why The Chefs' Warehouse, Inc. 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 thesis.

What: Shares of The Chefs' Warehouse  (NASDAQ: CHEF  )  were dropping like a falling knife today, losing as much as 22% after the company revised its 2013 guidance downward.

So what: The distributor of specialty food products said it now expects revenue of $670 million to $673 million, which was in line with expectations, but the company also sees adjusted net income of $0.80 to $0.81, below estimates of $0.90 and even with last year's total, despite a 40% increase in revenue. CEO Christopher Pappas said, "Top-line performance of our core business for 2013 was toward the lower end of our expectations, due in part to adverse weather," and went on to say that December was much weaker than anticipated. Still, Pappas said management was confident in "our long-term business strategy of growing and building our core markets."

Now what: In the aftermath, Chefs' Warehouse was downgraded by BB&T Capital Markets, and Canaccord lowered its price target from $28 to $24. Another potential concern is an accounting issue that came up in its Michael's Finer Meats subsidiary, and management said it was taking a charge of $0.02 per share to correct for it, saying it was not material. Despite the downward revisions, Chef's Warehouse does seem to be moving in the right direction with its recent acquisition of Allen Brothers, and the growth potential in the "foodie" industry seems to be strong. Shares were trading down just 7% by the afternoon as the market seems to believe the stock was oversold initially. I would also see the early morning sell-off as an overreaction.

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