Image source: Cimpress NV.

What happened

Shares of Cimpress NV (NASDAQ:CMPR) were down 16.7% as of 1:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday after the mass customization specialist released weaker-than-expected fiscal first-quarter 2017 results.

So what

Quarterly revenue increased 18.1% year over year, to $443.7 million. Based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), that translated to a loss from operations of $27.8 million, compared to income from operations of $12.1 million in last year's third quarter. GAAP net loss per diluted share was $0.92 per share, compared to net income of $0.32 per share in last year's fiscal Q1. Meanwhile, adjusted (non-GAAP) net operating profit after tax (NOPAT) was a loss of $4.7 million, compared to a profit of $16.4 million in the same year-ago period.

To be fair, Cimpress stopped offering specific financial guidance late last year after it revealed a new long-term strategy to maximize intrinsic per-share value for investors. And this loss was incurred largely due to a combination of acquisition costs and higher organic investments to grow the business as compared to last year.

But even then, analysts' consensus estimates predicted Cimpress would deliver higher revenue of $456 million.

Now what

Of course, we usually take those estimates with a grain of salt. And Cimpress management is taking it in stride.

"Fiscal year 2017 is off to a solid start and we are executing well against our plans to invest in a broad spectrum of long-term organic investments as outlined at the beginning of the fiscal year," said CEO Robert Keane. "We continue to have confidence that, even though these investments are depressing near-term profitability, they will strengthen our competitive position and improve the intrinsic value of our business, consistent with our fundamental approach to capital allocations."

In the end, while today's decline might be hard to swallow for shareholders with a shorter-term mentality, it seems long-term investors should have little to worry about as Cimpress continues to steadily maintain its strategy to grow the business.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.