Why Freescale Semiconductor Ltd. Shares Plunged 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 Freescale Semiconductor Ltd. (NYSE: FSL  ) fell more than 14% Friday despite solid first-quarter results and better-than-expected forward revenue guidance.

So what: Quarterly sales came in at $1.13 billion, which translated to adjusted earnings of $0.27 per share. Analysts, on average, were only looking for adjusted earnings of $0.24 per share on sales of $1.09 billion.

What's more, Freescale expects current quarter revenue between $1.14 billion and $1.20 billion, while gross margin should increase roughly 50 to 75 basis points on a sequential basis.

Now what: I'm not particularly anxious to dive in here myself considering Freescale still turned in a GAAP loss of $0.08 per share, but today's drop seems admittedly surprising as the company handily exceeded analysts' expectations. If it can continue inching toward sustained profitability and with shares currently trading below 12 times next year's estimated earnings, I think the stock could still reward patient, long-term investors.

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