Why New Oriental Education & Tech Group 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 Chinese private education company New Oriental Education & Tech  (NYSE: EDU  ) sank 10% today after its quarterly results and outlook disappointed Wall Street.

So what: The stock has pulled back in 2014 on concerns over slowing growth, and today's fiscal third-quarter results -- earnings per share of $0.30 on revenue growth of 16.4% -- coupled with downbeat guidance only reinforces those worries. In fact, management blamed the lower than expected revenue on paltry enrollment growth of 4.5%, suggesting that its competitive position is weakening as well.

Now what: Management now sees fourth-quarter revenue of $278 million to $287.6 million, representing year-over-year growth of 16% to 20%. "In the quarters ahead, we plan to accelerate the pace of opening new learning centers, with a focus on opening new learning centers in fast growing, high profit margin cities," said Chairman and CEO Michael Yu. "We expect POP Kids enrollments to pick up in the summer quarter once the new programs are launched and we increase promotional efforts." When you couple today's pullback with New Oriental's still-rock-solid balance sheet, the downside might still be limited enough to bet on those prospects. 

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