What happened

Shares of information-storage specialist Iron Mountain (NYSE:IRM) dropped 9.3% after reporting Q1 2019 earnings this morning and never really got back up off the mat. By the time trading closed for the day, Iron Mountain shares were still down a disheartening 8.9%.

So what

Funds from operations for the quarter came in at $0.48 per share, $0.05 below consensus estimates. Revenue was $1.05 billion -- just a hair short of the $1.06 billion that Wall Street was expecting.

Diluted earnings per share for the real estate investment trust were only $0.10 a share, down 38% year over year. Pro forma earnings, meanwhile, looked a bit better at $0.17 per share. Nevertheless, by this metric, Iron Mountain was 29% less profitable in this year's Q1 than it was in last year's.

Just as bad, Wall Street had predicted pro forma profits would be equal to last year's $0.24 per share -- and they weren't.

An abacus with beige and red beads.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

By whatever yardstick you might like to use, Iron Mountain had a bad quarter, a fact management blamed on "temporary higher labor costs in our North America businesses." Nevertheless, CEO William Meaney insisted that Iron Mountain is sticking with its guidance for the rest of this year and still thinks the company can grow its sales 1% to 6% and grow adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) 1% to 8%.

It's not 100% clear how this compares to Wall Street estimates, but for what it's worth, according to Yahoo! Finance, analysts are looking for Iron Mountain to end the year with $1.11 per share in profit on sales of $4.32 billion -- which tells me that if Iron Mountain wants to hit those estimates by year-end, it needs to recover a lot of ground lost in Q1 in the quarters that remain.

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.