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Why Shares of Caesarstone Sdot-Yam Ltd. Slumped on Monday

By Timothy Green - Feb 8, 2016 at 4:51PM

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The quartz surface manufacturer reports earnings on Wednesday, and investors may be concerned that economic uncertainty could lead to weak results or guidance.

What: Shares of Caesarstone Sdot-Yam ( CSTE -3.94% ), a manufacturer of engineered quartz surfaces for residential and commercial buildings, slumped on Monday on no company-specific news. The stock closed down 9%, after being down as much as 13.3% earlier in the day.

So what: With Caesarstone's business depending on the strength of the housing market, which in turns depends on the strength of the overall economy, economic uncertainty could be contributing to the decline in Caesarstone's stock. The company is growing quickly, but that growth has been slowing down in recent quarters. During 2014, revenue jumped 25%, while revenue rose only 11% year over year during the third quarter of 2015.

Another contributing factor to the decline in Caesarstone's stock on Monday could be the company's upcoming earnings report. Caesarstone is set to report its fourth-quarter results on Feb. 10, and investors may be bracing for disappointing guidance. Many companies have recently provided weak guidance driven by macroeconomic uncertainty, and Caesarstone may end up joining the club.

Now what: After suffering from a steep drop in 2015, Caesarstone is no longer priced like a growth stock, trading at just 14 times trailing-12-month earnings. Earnings could fall if demand for its products weakens, and the company did suffer from a drop in operating profit during the third quarter. Analysts are expecting revenue growth of 11.4% during the fourth quarter, and the average estimate for EPS represents an 7% year over year decline. With Caesarstone's earnings report only a couple of days away, investors won't need to wait long to see if the company can meet expectations.

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.

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