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Why CalAmp Corp. Stock Fell 16.8% in October

By Steve Symington - Nov 12, 2018 at 8:30AM

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The M2M communications leader gave back its post-earnings gains last month as tech stocks slumped. Here's what investors need to know.

What happened

Shares of CalAmp (CAMP 3.40%) fell 16.8% in October, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, amid both the broader stock market's decline and tempered enthusiasm following the machine-to-machine communications specialist's strong third-quarter 2018 results.

More specifically on the latter, CalAmp shares initially jumped as much as 7% on the last trading day of September, when the company released fiscal second-quarter 2019 results. That release highlighted record revenue and accelerated growth thanks to strength from CalAmp's smaller, high-margin software and subscription services business, where revenue climbed 21% to $18.9 million. But CalAmp quickly gave up those gains over the next several days, as the broader stock market pulled back from record highs, with the high-flying technology sector enduring the worst of those declines.

Cityscape time lapse photo with connected points


So what

To be fair, CalAmp's core Telematics segment achieved much more modest revenue growth of 4.1%, to $77.1 million. And the company offered guidance for consolidated fiscal third-quarter revenue in the range of $94 million to $99 million, or growth of just 0.3% to 5.7% from $93.7 million in the same year-ago period.

So perhaps unsurprisingly, Jefferies analyst George Notter noted as much on Oct. 15, when he initiated coverage on CalAmp stock with a "hold" rating and $22 price target, marking a roughly 10% premium from today's levels. Notter added that he may "become more constructive on further share price weakness or faster-than-expected growth in the core Telematics end-markets."

Now what

Of course, we'll need to hurry up and wait for any color to that end, barring the release of some revelatory industry figures or a preliminary update from CalAmp between now and its next quarterly call in late December. But until then, as long as tech stocks remain under pressure given current trade tensions and macroeconomic uncertainty, CalAmp stock is likely to remain at the mercy of the broader market's movements.

Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends CalAmp. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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