Why SeaChange International Inc. Shares Plunged Today

Is SeaChange's drop meaningful? Or just another movement?

Jun 6, 2014 at 2:52PM

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 SeaChange International (NASDAQ:SEAC) dropped nearly 12% Friday after the multi-screen video specialist reported weaker-than-expected fiscal first-quarter results.

So what: Quarterly sales came in at $24.3 million, which translated to an adjusted operating loss of $7.2 million, or $0.22 per share. Analysts, on average, were looking for a much narrower loss of $0.02 per share on higher sales of $30.87 million.

In addition, SeaChange expects second-quarter revenue in the range of $26 million to $30 million, which should result in an adjusted operating loss between $0.10 to $0.20 per share. By contrast, analysts were modeling Q2 earnings of $0.06 per share on sales of $34.23 million. 

Now what: SeaChange CEO Anthony Dias explained, "As we've stated previously, our first quarter is typically our lowest period seasonally and this quarter's results were compounded by significant legacy declines and delays in customer acceptances of new products." Still, Dias insists SeaChange is continuing to "invest in R&D to further enhance our next generation software products to support new and existing customer requirements."

Fair enough. But today's miss was bad by any measure, and this doesn't do much to boost management's rapport with investors considering it isn't the first time they've placed blame on customer decision-making for delays in securing orders. For now, and even though shares might look reasonably priced at around 14 times next year's estimated earnings, you'll find me watching SeaChange from the sidelines.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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