Shares of Tupperware Brands (TUP -6.43%), which is best known for making its namesake plastic containers, fell a shocking 36% at the open of trading on May 4. The news driving that massive decline was the company's first-quarter 2022 earnings update, though it was really the information that was left out that was more important.
Tupperware reported first-quarter 2022 revenue of $348.1 million, down 16% from the same quarter of 2021. That number also missed the Wall Street consensus, which was just short of $357 million. On the bottom line Tupperware reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.12, down from $0.81 in the first quarter of 2021. Analysts had been looking for earnings of $0.52 per share. Weak year-over-year results and misses on both the top and bottom lines are the types of things that make investors upset.
However, the news behind these numbers is what's really troubling. According to CEO Miguel Fernandez, "We exited 2021 encouraged that our Turnaround Plan was on track, however with today's results we acknowledge that this turnaround still requires a lot more work." That's not a reassuring statement. The list of problems the CEO highlighted as directly impacting the quarter included geopolitical tensions, the coronavirus, inflation pressures, and internal company challenges. No wonder investors sold the stock, given that most, if not all, of the listed headwinds are unlikely to abate in the near term.
To top it all off, the CEO also explained, "Due to the high degree of operational uncertainty we currently face, we have decided to withdraw our previously issued financial guidance for 2022." Turnaround plays can be high-risk and sometimes turnarounds don't go as planned. This looks like the case right now for Tupperware, which suggests that only aggressive investors should be looking at this iconic name today. Indeed, if the company isn't secure enough in its outlook to provide guidance, investor confidence in the future here is justifiably shaken.