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 Vera Bradley (NASDAQ:VRA) fell as much as 10% after the handbag maker provided disappointing guidance in its quarterly report.
So what: Vera Bradley actually beat earnings estimates in its fiscal first quarter, but those had already been reduced recently in the face of the company's significant headwinds. CEO Robert Wallstrom said the company faces "a difficult environment, one that is proving much more challenging than we anticipated just two short months ago." Earnings per share of $0.16 topped the consensus estimate of $0.13, but were down from $0.23 a year ago, and sales were weak as the company struggled to attract new customers to its brand. Revenue in the quarter fell 7.7% to $113 million, worse than the expectation of $118.4 million, as same-store sales declined 9.4%.
Now what: Vera Bradley's forecast wasn't any better: Management said it did not expect results to improve until it could make "meaningful changes to our product offering and marketing initiatives." For the full year, it expects sales of $510 million to $530 million, down from $530.9 million a year ago and worse than the projected $553.6 million. Its EPS forecast of $1 to $1.10 was also below the expectation of $1.26. Management stood by its long-term transition plan, but a quarter like this leaves investors with little to hang on to. With comparable sales falling so sharply and the share price far from cheap, I see little reason to get behind this stock.