What: Shares of Omega Protein Corporation (OME) were losing mass today, down 23.9% as of 10:50 a.m. ET. A weak earnings report was the culprit as the company badly missed estimates.
So what: The nutritional supplement provider posted an adjusted per-share profit of $0.29, short of estimates at $0.48, while revenue fell 20% to $82.3 million, also below expectations. Sales fell in both business segments, animal nutrition and human nutrition, though the slide in animal nutrition was worse. Fish oil volumes plunged 74% in the animal nutrition segment, though that was partially offset by a 36% increase in price.
Despite the underwhelming report, CEO Bret Scholtes touted the company's accomplishments, saying, "2015 was a transformational year for Omega Protein as our financial results, including a record Adjusted EBITDA, reflect contributions from a robust fish harvest, continued strong demand for our products, efficient operational performance and the Bioriginal acquisition." He also said it would invest $18 million to improve the animal nutrition business.
Now what: Though the company badly missed analyst expectations, the report was not as bad as it might seem. Gross profit increased slightly because of higher prices, offsetting the decline in sales volume, though adjusted earnings per share was down from $0.35 the year before.
Omega's results have also been notoriously hard to predict as the company's profit was nearly double analyst estimates in the previous two quarters. Considering the volatility of earnings and the investments it's making to improve profitability, I'd expect the stock to recover eventually from today's slide.