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Earnings Drive FEI Company's Stock 10% Lower on Wednesday

By Matthew DiLallo - Oct 28, 2015 at 3:45PM

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The microscopy company’s revenue and profits both come in below guidance.

What: Shares of FEI Company (FEIC) fell more than 10% in early-morning trading on Wednesday. The sell-off is in reaction to the company's third-quarter earnings report, which it released after markets closed on Tuesday. In that release, the company reported revenue and earnings that, even after adjusted, missed the company's own guidance.

So what: FEI Company's third-quarter results were affected by a trio of issues. First, foreign currency headwinds sliced $10 million off the company's revenue. resulting in a 6.7% year-over-year decline. However, even after adjusting for that, the company's revenue still slipped 2.4%, which came in below its own guidance range.

The reason revenue was weaker than guidance had to do with a shortfall in "activity at our large semiconductor customers," according to CEO Don Kania, which was due to "near term spending at our semiconductor customers [which] is being affected as the industry transitions to 10nm devices." That's partially Intel's (INTC -1.86%) fault, after the company delayed its 10nm hardware to the second half of 2017. In its place, Intel is instead releasing a third 14nm product next year to "pave the way for a smooth transition to 10mn," according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. Unfortunately, that transition might be smooth for semiconductors, but not for FEI's sales to those customers.

This also cut into earnings per share, which fell 51% year over year to just $0.25 per share. However, a big chunk of that had to do with an asset impairment charge relating to assets supporting the company's oil and gas business. However, even after adjusting for that, earnings still missed FEI's own guidance.

Now what: Currencies, weak sales to semiconductor customers, and an oil and gas impairment charge all worked together to impact FEI's third-quarter results. That forced the company to take down its full-year guidance, which also didn't sit well with investors. 

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