Why Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. Stock 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 Maxim Integrated Products (NASDAQ: MXIM  ) fell nearly 11% Friday after the company released weaker-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, and disappointing guidance.

So what: Maxim's quarterly revenue rose 5.6% year over year, to $642.5 million, which translated to adjusted earnings of $0.43 per share. Analysts, on average, were looking for earnings of $0.48 per share on sales of $650.5 million.

In addition, Maxim provided guidance for fiscal first-quarter sales of $580 million to $620 million, and adjusted earnings per share of $0.34 to $0.40. By comparison, analysts were modeling fiscal Q1 earnings of $0.52 per share on sales of $676.4 million.

Now what: Blaming softness in Maxim's mobility business for the shortfall and "cautious" outlook, Maxim CEO Tunc Doluca highlighted the relative strength of Maxim's balanced portfolio as driving growth in each one of its other major businesses. In the end, while it's hard to blame the market for taking a step back today given Maxim's short-term hiccup, I think the stock is at least worth adding to your watch list to keep tabs on its progress. Shares are currently trading around 13 times next year's expected earnings; if the stock continues to drop in the near term, it could eventually be worth opening a small position.

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