What happened

When Dycom Industries (NYSE:DY) dropped 22% in a single day last year, you might have thought that was as bad as things could get.

Wrong.

Today, Dycom suffered an even steeper fall than the one that befell it last year, when the telecommunications infrastructure builder reported Q4 2018 earnings far short of analyst expectations -- then warned of an even bigger shortfall in Q1 2019.

The damage to Dycom? As of 12:25 p.m. EST: 28.1% and counting.

Red arrow crashing into floor.

Dycom dives again. Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Dycom incurred a $0.38-per-share loss for its final quarter of last year, the company reported this morning. Pro forma, the company claimed it earned $0.10, but even this was less than the $0.16 pro forma profit Wall Street had been looking for.

Revenue-wise, Dycom posted 14% sales growth to $748.6 million. Given that this was 5% better than what Wall Street had predicted, you might have thought investors would be more willing to forgive the earnings miss.

Now what

But again -- wrong. Problem was, Dycom exacerbated the impact of missing earnings by telling investors it expects to book fewer revenues and earn fewer profits than Wall Street is looking for in Q1 (currently underway) as well.

Dycom's latest guidance calls for the company to earn pro forma profits of between $0.34 and $0.56 (both numbers below Wall Street's $0.80 consensus) per share on sales of $750 million to $800 million. Taken at the midpoint, Dycom's revenue forecast, too, falls short of Wall Street's average $784 million consensus.

About the only good news: When calculated according to GAAP, Dycom says it will earn a profit this time around: $0.23 to $0.45 per diluted share in Q1 2019.