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What: Shares of Kraton Performance Polymers (NYSE:KRA) were not performing for investors today, falling as much as 12%, after posting poor first-quarter results.

So what: The polymer maker said a shift in butadiene market dynamics was partially responsible for the disappointing quarter, as well as bad weather, which affected sales of paving and roofing compounds. Volume sales were down 12.7% in the quarter, while dollar sales fell 17%, to $340.1 million, badly missing analyst expectations at $363.2 million. Earnings per share were similarly off the mark, coming in at just $0.07, all the way down from $0.49 a year ago, and well below estimates of $0.28.

Now what: It's hard to miss estimates by more than that, but Kraton outdid itself in previous quarters, posting an $0.88 loss on estimates of a $0.10 per-share profit in the period ending in December 2012. I'd like to say its problems are temporary, but the series of terrible earnings reports leads to me think otherwise. I'd stay away from this one until it proves it can hit its targets.

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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.