What: Shares of filtration company CLARCOR (NYSE:CLC) dropped as much as 16% today after the company reported disappointing earnings.

So what: Fiscal third-quarter revenue fell 11% to $357.6 million and net earnings dropped 13% to $36.4 million, or $0.72 per share. On an adjusted basis, earnings were $0.66 per share, well below the $0.84 analysts expected.  

To make matters worse, management said they expected full-year earnings to be between $2.70 and $2.80 per share and Wall Street was expecting $3.05 per share, so conditions are looking a lot worse than investors had previously priced in.  

Now what: As for many companies with international sales, foreign currency translation had a negative impact on CLARCOR's results, but sales also dropped organically. The engine/mobile filtration unit's organic sales fell 6% in the most dramatic sign of the industry's challenging conditions.

While the results were disappointing and the share drop today is justified, it looks like most of the disappointment was due to macro factors that were largely out of CLARCOR's hands. And when those conditions improve, the money spent on manufacturing and administration expenses will be leveraged to grow income. I'm not jumping into this stock today, but if shares fall further in coming months, there could be an opportunity for long-term investors to get into a company that should remain solidly profitable for years to come.

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.