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Why The Container Store Group Stock Shattered 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 The Container Store Group  (NYSE: TCS  ) were getting dropped like a hot potato today, falling as much as 15% after the company issued another underwhelming earnings report last night.

So what: The storage-specialty retailer missed estimates once again in its second quarterly report as a public company, as CEO Kip Tindell blamed a wide-reaching retail "funk" for the company's struggles. Same-store sales dipped 0.8%, while overall revenue climbed 8.6%, to $173.4 million, short of expectations at $174.2 million. On the bottom line, the company missed estimates by $0.01, posting a loss per share of $0.07, even with its results a year ago.

Now what: While Tindell was careful to note that the first quarter is the company's weakest, and has little bearing on full-year results, The Container Store still lowered its guidance for the fiscal year, which seemed to be the biggest reason for the stock's tumble today. Management now sees full-year EPS of $0.49-$0.54, down from a previous range of $0.56-$0.61, and expects comparable-sales growth of 1.5%-2.5%, down from the 3%-4% it predicted earlier. For a high-flying recent IPO like The Container Store, reduced guidance is often a warning sign for investors, and will almost always send them fleeing. The company has ambitious expansion plans, hoping to grow to 300 locations from just more than 60 today, but its organic growth is only modest, and the concept is far from groundbreaking. I'd expect to see further multiple compression as the stock still carries a P/E above 40 based on this year's earnings, even after today's slide.

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Jeremy Bowman

Fool since 2011. I write about consumer goods, the big picture, and whatever else piques my interest. Follow me on Twitter to see my latest articles, and for commentary on hot topics in retail and the broad market.

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