What happened

Shares of The Michaels Companies (NASDAQ:MIK) closed 14.8% lower Thursday, following the arts and crafts supplies retailer's second-quarter earnings release. Earlier in the day, the stock slipped as much as 17.2% lower.

So what

Net sales slipped 1.8% lower, compared to the year-ago period, landing at $1.05 billion. The analyst consensus had called for a slightly higher total of $1.06 billion. On the bottom line, adjusted earnings fell 21% lower, landing at $0.15 per diluted share. Here, your average analyst would have settled for $0.13 per share.

That's a mixed quarter at worst, but that's not the whole story. Michaels had guided to flat comparable store sales but reported a 0.4% decline instead. Retail industry investors often shrug off revenue and earnings surprises -- both positive and negative -- to pounce on this metric.

A person picking out colorful pieces of crafting material from a rack of shelves.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Michaels' shares have now fallen 24% lower over the last 52 weeks as the retailer struggles to meet all of Wall Street's demands. The company is also going through a large store remodeling project that promises to boost long-term results but at the cost of speed bumps along the way.

All told, the stock is trading at just 7.8 times trailing earnings today. Investors with a stomach for long-term thinking and modest growth goals might want to take a second look at this ticker at these bargain-bin valuation levels.

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.