Why Checkpoint Systems, Inc. Shares Dropped Today

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 Checkpoint Systems, (NYSE: CKP  ) fell more than 10% early Friday after the company delayed its fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 earnings results.

So what: Checkpoint's report was previously scheduled for today. However, the retail merchandise availability solutions company simply stated it "needs additional time to complete the review of its financial results."

Checkpoint doesn't seem to be sure just how much time it needs, but instead insisted it "will issue a subsequent advisory announcing the timing for the release" and subsequent conference call.

Now what: Analysts, on average, are expecting Checkpoint to report fourth-quarter earnings of $0.31 per share on sales of $190.5 million, which should bring fiscal 2013 earnings and sales to $0.44 per share and $685.85 million, respectively. For the full year 2014, analysts are modeling earnings of $0.80 per share on revenue of $716.25 million.

In any case, the move is especially embarrassing for Checkpoint considering that on Feb. 21, the company initially scheduled its fourth-quarter release for March 5 after the market close, with the conference call scheduled for the following morning.  Then, only three days later, Checkpoint pushed the release forward by another day to March 6, with the conference call slated for this morning.

As a result, I can't blame the market for being spooked now, especially given Checkpoint's lack of explanation for why even more time is needed. Until Checkpoint fills everybody in, I think investors would be wise to resist the temptation to buy now.

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