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Timberland Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know

By Matt Koppenheffer - Updated Apr 6, 2017 at 10:01PM

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Is this meaningful? Or just another movement?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of rugged-footwear maker Timberland (NYSE: TBL) got absolutely stomped by the market today, losing as much as 31% in intraday trading after the company reported first-quarter results.

So what: On the bright side, Timberland's top line moved in the right direction. Total revenue was up 10% year over year to $349 million on same-store-sales growth of 8.2%. The sales tally did, however, fall short of Wall Street's $361 million target. The bigger issue in the quarterly report was that the company reported a surprise 30% drop in net income. Earnings per share for the quarter clocked in at $0.35, down from $0.47 in the first quarter of last year and badly missing analysts' $0.59 target.

Now what: Costs were up across the board for Timberland. As compared with last year, the company's gross margin fell to 46.8% from 49.8%, while operating costs as a percentage of revenue rose from 37.4% to 38.8%. Based on the company's press release, it seems that both of these areas could continue to be issues through the remainder of the year as product costs stay elevated and the company makes growth-oriented investments. Timberland does, however, hope to offset some of the product costs with price increases later in the year.

Timberland is part of the Rising Stars Portfolio for my fellow Fool Alyce Lomax, and a month ago she was still intent on holding her shares despite a somewhat elevated price. Although this quarterly report is certainly troubling, from a bigger-picture view, it may be more of a fender-bender for the company as opposed to show-stopping collision.

Want to keep up to date on Timberland? Add it to your watchlist.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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