Why CHC Group Ltd. Plunged Today

Is this meaningful or just another movement?

Jul 10, 2014 at 11:23AM

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 offshore energy helicopter services specialist CHC Group (NYSE:HELI) sank 12% today after its quarterly results and outlook disappointed Wall Street.

So what: CHC shares have rallied nicely in recent months on signs of rebounding growth, but today's fourth-quarter top-line miss -- revenue rose just 3% to $452.78 million versus the consensus of $466.64 million -- coupled with downbeat guidance is forcing Mr. Market to quickly sober up. And while CHC's loss of $26.1 million was narrower than expected, adjusted EBITDAR margin for the quarter fell 240 basis points to 32%, suggesting that the company's competitive position is weakening as well.

Now what: For full-year fiscal 2015, management now sees EBITDAR growth in the high single to low double-digit range on a revenue increase in the mid to high single-digit range. "Major indicators about expected growth in oil-and-gas exploration and production remain positive, especially in deepwater and ultra-deepwater locations," President and CEO William Amelio reassured investors in a press release. "We believe we are positioning CHC well to capture this growth, while delivering on our financial goals for fiscal 2015 and the longer term." When you couple CHC's turbulent top-line trend with its still-hefty debt load, however, I'd hold out for an even wider margin of safety before betting on that bullishness. 

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