Shares of Knowles Corp (KN 2.54%) were down 18.7% as of 2 p.m. EST Wednesday after the electronic component manufacturing company announced disappointing fourth-quarter 2019 results.
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.
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.
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.