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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 battery manufacturer China BAK Battery (Nasdaq: CBAK ) shorted out today, losing nearly 12% in intraday trading as investors reacted to the company's fourth-quarter earnings and the departure of its CFO.
So what: Fourth-quarter results for China BAK were pretty disappointing across the board. Revenue of $56 million was down 3% from last year and missed analyst estimates of $61 million. On the bottom line, the company reported a diluted loss per share of $0.14, worse than the $0.02-per-share loss last year and well off the $0.01 profit that Wall Street expected. While the company is hoping to improve its balance sheet, it ended the year still looking pretty unsteady, with $179 million in total debt versus $150 million in shareholders' equity. The disappointment over the results was only compounded by the announcement that the company's CFO is departing, a development that rarely fails to raise investor concern.
Now what: It's been a rough day for a handful of battery manufacturers as Advanced Battery Technologies (Nasdaq: ABAT ) slumped after it issued new shares and an Associated Press article raised concerns about the industry in general. All in all, there's good reason for today's news to act like investor repellent for China BAK shares. Right now this looks like a company in dire need of getting itself back on track.
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