If anyone out there still doubts that Mr. Market is crazy, look no further than the performance of the stock of Motley Fool Hidden Gems Watch List nominee Rogers
The reason: Rogers had issued an earnings warning on Dec. 21. Although it only narrowed its range of expected revenue, Rogers cut its expected profits nearly in half, predicting $0.24 to $0.27 per share and pointing to oversupplies on the market for one of its many products: "high frequency printed circuit materials."
I can sort of understand how the perennially moody Mr. Market might lose faith in Rogers based on that warning. Mr. Market likes to hear good news that relates to the present and the near future, and he generally pays attention to long-term prospects (and we think Rogers has good long-term prospects) only when they're bad. That's why cyclical companies like U.S. Steel
What boggles the mind, though, is that it's taken only two months since Rogers' earnings warning for Mr. Market to forget it ever happened and to convince itself that analysts' reduced earnings estimates of $0.25 per share were all that were ever posited. Upon hearing on Feb. 17 that Rogers would postpone its earnings release until tomorrow to tweak its accounting because of a discovery that it may owe less in income taxes than it had thought, investors bid Rogers all the way back up to its pre-warning valuation.
Hope, it seems, does indeed spring eternal. And between Rogers' promise to hit the high end of its revised profits numbers, and its postulation that the accounting adjustment might push its GAAP profits even higher, Wall Street is now treating the prospect of profits that fall between $0.27 and $0.40 per share as if it were a better outcome than the pre-warning anticipated EPS of $0.40 to $0.45!
Tomorrow should show the extent of Mr. Market's true madness. We'll see whether it reacts with even more enthusiasm to profits that would have been considered underwhelming two months ago or whether it recognizes them for what they truly are: a bit of a letdown.
At Motley Fool Hidden Gems , we don't fall madly, blindly, staggeringly punch-drunk in love with our picks and ignore what they told us in the distant past to embrace what they told us in the more recent past. Even so, we do try to think long-term and give proven winners like Rogers a chance to work through short-term problems. If you're interested in reading more about how this stock caught the eye of Hidden Gems chief analyst Tom Gardner, give the service a whirl with a free trial subscription today.
Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any of the companies mentioned in this article.