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Why Echo Global Logistics, Inc. Shares Were Driving In Reverse Recently

By Nickey Friedman - Feb 18, 2014 at 9:55AM

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Step back and look at the big picture with Echo Global Logistics

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 trucking company Echo Global Logistics (ECHO) were run off the road recently by as much as 22.1% and hit a new 52-week low following release of its fiscal-fourth-quarter earlier this month.

So what: Fourth-quarter revenue tacked on 4.8% to $221.3 million, but non-GAAP net income slipped 27.9% to $2.5 million or $0.11 per share which included a charge of $0.02 per share for separation costs from previous management. Analysts were expecting a few million higher on sales and $0.05 more on non-GAAP earnings after factoring in the $0.02 charge. CEO Doug Waggoner explained that the shortfall was due to weak demand in November despite an overall strong 2013. That demand recovered partially in December but not all the way. Waggoner further added that revenue began to accelerate again in December and continued to accelerate through January.

In the conference call, Waggoner further blamed "terrible weather conditions" even though it is now able to grow and gain market share despite continued bad weather.

Now what: You've probably heard the saying "one bad quarter doesn't make a trend." With Echo Global Logistics, it's more like one month bad doesn't make a trend. Echo isn't the only trucking-related company to experience a weak calendar fourth quarter due to the December month, but Echo is certainly rising out of it strong. Furthermore, the weather won't be bad forever.

If you step back and look at the entire year, Echo grew revenue by 16.7% despite the temporary weakness in November. The company is expecting another leg up in revenue and earnings for 2014 to bring its total revenue over the $1 billion mark. Analysts expect this will result in a 41% growth in earnings per share this year and another 30% next year.

With all this in mind, the sell-off seems like it may be a tad overdone. At the new 52-week low that hit $15.86, the 2015 forward P/E ratio is around 14 which seems on the cheap side considering the expected rapid earnings growth that comes with it. Fools should give Echo a closer look and possibly snatch some up if another panic dip should come again.

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