What happened

Shares of Knowles Corp (NYSE:KN) were down 18.7% as of 2 p.m. EST Wednesday after the electronic component manufacturing company announced disappointing fourth-quarter 2019 results.

So what

More specifically, Knowles' quarterly revenue climbed 5% year over year to $233.9 million, translating to a 5% decline in adjusted earnings to $0.35 per share. Analysts, on average, were anticipating higher earnings of $0.40 per share on revenue closer to $237.6 million.

Stock market data with red arrow indicating losses.

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Knowles CEO Jeffrey Niew noted revenue technically arrived within the company's guidance range, "as strong sales into the Ear and [Internet of Things] markets were offset by continued soft trends in Mobile."

Meanwhile, Niew added that while sales from Knowles' Precision Devices segment increased in the double-digit percent range, gross margins fell below expectations and effectively resulted in the company falling short of its earnings outlook.

Now what

Knowles also told investors to expect first-quarter revenue of $160 million to $190 million, with adjusted earnings per share of $0.08 to $0.16. Here again, even the high end of both ranges was below Wall Street's consensus estimates, which called for earnings of $0.20 per share on revenue of $192.4 million.

In the end, given the combination of that weak outlook and Knowles' underwhelming fourth-quarter performance, it's no surprise to see shares falling hard today. And I think investors would do well to consider putting their money to work in any number of other more promising tech stocks going forward.

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.