Why Werner Enterprises Shares Went Flat

Is this meaningful or just another movement?

Sean Williams
Sean Williams
Sep 14, 2012 at 12:00AM
Other

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 transportation and logistics company Werner Enterprises (Nasdaq: WERN) fell as much as 11% earlier in the trading session, following its preliminary third-quarter earnings guidance.

So what: Werner is now forecasting that its third-quarter EPS will be in the range of $0.33-$0.36, versus Wall Street’s projection of $0.44. Werner is blaming the rising cost of salaries, fuel, health-care benefits, maintenance, and depreciation of trucks as the reason for the weak expectations. BB&T Capital also downgraded the company to "hold" from "buy" following its guidance.

Now what: About the only thing we were missing in that list of excuses was the kitchen sink! Swift Transportation (NYSE: SWFT) is dealing with similar fuel costs, but it managed to top expectations in the second quarter. Similarly, even Arkansas Best (Nasdaq: ABFS), which is now firmly on my radar, beat expectations, due to increases in its pricing. If some of the weaker transportation companies are succeeding, why isn’t Werner? That's not exactly an answer I have right now, but it’s definitely a reason to be leery of Werner at the moment.

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