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Why Harman International Industries Inc. Shares Plunged

By Brian D. Pacampara, CFA - Jan 28, 2016 at 4:30PM

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A strong dollar put a big dent into the audio specialist's second-quarter earnings.

What: Shares of audio products technologist Harman International Industries (HAR) were down 15.1% at 3:15 p.m. ET on Thursday after its quarterly results disappointed Wall Street.

So what: Harman's Q2 EPS of $1.84 managed to top estimates by $0.12, but a slight miss on the top line -- $1.77 billion versus the consensus of $1.79 billion -- is forcing analysts to quickly recalibrate their growth estimates going forward. So while Harman's revenue would have surged 19% in local currency, Harman's heavy exposure to foreign-currency headwinds -- the company generates more than 70% of its sales outside the U.S. -- suggests that its business model is far more vulnerable to macroeconomic uncertainty than Mr. Market thinks.

Now what: Management remains confident that global auto production growth trends are working in Harman's favor. "While we are closely monitoring macroeconomic developments, at this time, we are on track to deliver on our full-year plan," said Chairman, President, and CEO Dinesh C. Paliwal. "HARMAN continues to innovate and bring industry-first solutions to market." More important, with the stock now off more than 50% from its 52-week highs and trading at a cheapish single-digit forward P/E, the downside might finally be limited enough to bet on that bullishness. 

Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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