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What: Shares of specialty retailer Cost Plus
So what: Cost Plus' fourth quarter and 2010 fiscal year actually weren't that bad. The company has been busy trying to turn around its business, and it appears efforts are paying off. Fourth-quarter sales were up 7% from last year on the back of 7.7% growth in same-store sales. The company's gross margin expanded, and the percentage spending on selling, general, and administrative costs fell. Earnings per share for the quarter came in at $1.23, a penny shy of analysts' estimates but up nearly 30% from 2009.
Now what: It would appear that it was the company's guidance that has investors breathlessly selling shares today. While management's projections for the next quarter look favorable when compared with analysts' estimates, expected growth for the entire year is lower than hoped for. For all of 2011, the company is looking for revenue between $946 million and $956 million and earnings per share of $0.45 to $0.55. Wall Street was expecting $956 million in revenue and $0.79 in per-share profit.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.