What happened

Networking and communications equipment specialist Adtran Holdings (ADTN -3.02%) probably wishes it had called in sick this week. The company's share price saw a very steep fall across the five trading days this week; according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence, it slid by nearly 32%. A disappointing preliminary earnings report from the company was primarily to blame.

So what

Biting the bullet, Adtran unveiled those provisional figures on Monday. These indicate that the specialty tech company will post $322 million to $326 million in revenue for its first quarter, which is quite some way down from its guidance of $355 million to $375 million. That range also sits notably below the average analyst top-line estimate of slightly over $346 million.

Adtran attributed this (potentially) weaker-than-expected performance to customer inventory corrections; these had a negative impact on its subscriber solutions products. Supply constraints experienced by a wide variety of tech businesses also played a role.

As for profitability, it's likely this will land in the red. Adtran's preliminary figures indicate that the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) operating margin will be -14% to -17%. The non-GAAP operating margin should be better but still in negative territory, at -1% to -2.5%.

Now what

Regarding the immediate future, Adtran quoted CEO Tom Stanton as saying, "We believe that the inventory impact is transitory, and we expect to see some improvement during the second quarter."

He then went on to say, "We plan to adjust expenses in the near term to reflect current conditions; however, we do not see any material changes to our near-term opportunities and our long-term growth catalysts as carriers around the world race to upgrade their networks to fiber."