What happened

Shares of Evoqua Water Technologies (NYSE:AQUA) got vaporized Tuesday, closing the day down 34.7% after issuing "preliminary" Q4 and full-year results for fiscal 2018.

Heading into the year's final quarterly report, analysts had been expecting the provider of water and wastewater treatment systems to report $0.70 per share in earnings for fiscal 2018, on sales of $1.36 billion. In today's update, though, Evoqua advised that sales are looking more likely to come in below $1.34 billion once the final numbers are counted.

Management did not say what it expects its GAAP earnings to be, but investors don't seem optimistic.

Sharks circling a boat

The sharks are circling this water-tech company's stock today. Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The news isn't entirely horrible. If Evoqua manages to end the year with $1.33 billion to $1.34 billion in sales, as it now thinks likely, that will still amount to better than 7% growth year over year. Still, CEO Ron Keating pronounced himself "disappointed" with the company's "full-year performance," even if the less-than-expected results were "primarily due to acquisition system integration issues, supply chain disruptions influenced by tariffs, and an extended delay on a large aquatics project" -- not all of which factors were within the company's control.

But even so, with Evoqua stock richly valued at more than 50 times earnings, there probably wasn't a lot of room for error in this quarter's earnings news. Whoever was "primarily" at fault, the end result is that Evoqua is almost certain to fall short of expectations this year -- and its stock is being punished accordingly.

Now what

In other news, Evoqua announced today that it's restructuring its business to merge its current three business divisions into just two: "Integrated Solutions and Services" and "Applied Product Technologies."

Keating explained that "this two-segment restructuring allows divisions with similar business models to be aligned and, in some instances, combined," and that he expects it to eventually allow the company to cut $15 million to $20 million in operating costs from its business. Those savings are probably still a couple of years away, though -- and they won't arrive soon enough to help Evoqua hit its numbers in 2018.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.