What happened

Dialysis product and services specialist Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE:FMS) trailed the market by a wide margin last month, shedding 24% compared to a 7% slump in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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The decline sent shares well below the broader market, down 25% so far in 2018 compared to a 2.5% uptick in the S&P 500.

So what

Investors weren't happy with the company's preliminary third-quarter report, published on Oct. 16, which showed a surprising drop in both revenue and profits. Executives blamed "weaker-than-expected" dialysis services demand in the key U.S. market for most of the shortfall.

A patient receiving dialysis treatment.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

CEO Rice Powell and his executive team now believe sales will inch up by between 2% and 3% for the full year compared to their earlier target range of between 5% and 7%. Net income will outpace that growth but will also come in lower than initially expected. Looking further out, shareholders are hoping that selling conditions improve in the U.S. over time and that the company's acquisition of NxStage Medical helps put Fresenius Medical Care back in a growth posture in 2019.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends NxStage Medical. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.