There are times when I really wish companies would not provide earnings guidance. What happened today with Texas Roadhouse (NASDAQ:TXRH) is one of them. Restaurant company stocks are a bit in the doghouse at the moment, without help from management.

The steak, rib, and Willie Nelson sponsor reported earnings yesterday after the bell. It met its estimate for $0.12 per share for the second quarter but missed its revenue estimate slightly. Same-store sales growth slowed down from last year but was still positive. Unfortunately, management lowered full-year earnings guidance by two to three cents, now expecting $0.41-$0.43 per share.

While Foolish investors shouldn't worry too much about the day-to-day movement of stock prices, movements immediately after an earnings release can be interesting to watch. For instance, today, the price of Texas Roadhouse is down about 7%, much more than the broader market's half-percent drop. That isn't from an earnings miss but is probably due to the lowered guidance.

On the other hand, many people want guidance from their companies. I remember hearing one analyst say in a conference call (not Texas Roadhouse's) when asking a question about guidance, "Tell us what to think."

Anyone following the restaurant sector knows that these companies are seeing a slowdown or even decline in year-over-year sales growth. This is happening especially to casual dining places like Texas Roadhouse or competitors like OSI Restaurant Partners' (NYSE:OSI) Outback Steakhouse and Lone Star Steakhouse (NASDAQ:STAR). Lower sales growth usually translates to lower earnings growth. When management goes to the trouble of lowering guidance, though, some investors extrapolate that into the future, panic, and dump their shares. Lots of people are doing it, too -- today's volume was about four times the three-month average.

Of course, if you're an investor who likes to get shares on the cheap, such a reaction is good when you want to buy. Texas Roadhouse shares are at a 52-week low today, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're a good value. Only some due diligence will reveal that. But investors who remember the adage that "this too shall pass" generally do well in the long run.

As does management. The conference call ended with this comment: "Every time we've experienced a downturn period like this, we've come back stronger than before. We don't expect this to be any different." Nice to hear, don't you think?

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Fool contributor Jim Mueller takes the long view, which helps keep his blood pressure down. He does not own shares in any company mentioned, all according to our version of Hoyle.