What happened

Shares of World Fuel Services Corp (INT 0.44%) are plunging today, down more than 22% as of 2:45 p.m. EDT, after the company announced first-quarter results.

So what

World Fuel Services reported adjusted net income of $35 million, or $0.52 per share, which was in line with analysts' expectations and a $0.03-per-share improvement from the year-ago period. In fact, CEO Michel Kasbar said that the company was "off to a good start in 2018," noting that it was "benefiting from seasonal increases in our land business and solid performance by our aviation and marine segments." However, he also stated that while the company was "pleased with our first quarter results," it remains "focused on increasing levels of profitability and returns by continuing to sharpen our portfolio and drive greater cost efficiencies."

Tanker ships out on the water with an orange sunset in the background.

Image source: Getty Images.

One of the areas where World Fuel Services needs to improve is in its marine segment, where gross profit fell 7% year over year to $31.2 million due to the continued challenges in the maritime industry and the strategic decision to reduce its business in certain areas where it's not earning an acceptable return on its investment. The company believes that initiatives such as this will help reaccelerate earnings growth over the next 12 to 24 months.

Now what

World Fuel Services is working to boost profitability to help overcome some market challenges. While that turnaround could help lift the stock -- now down 40% over the past year after today's sell-off -- it's still not clear if the company can achieve its goals. As a result, investors are better off considering these turnaround stocks instead.