Wow, did Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) ever take a nosedive yesterday. The stock fell by more than 16% on Tuesday.

Remember that old intro to the Wide World of Sports show, where the skier tumbles head-over-ski, completely out of control? Well, I imagine that's how Dick's felt yesterday in its agony of defeat. After announcing results that, in all honesty, were pretty good, the company watched its stock plummet as a result of its lowered full-year guidance. I wouldn't be surprised if Dick's decided to stop offering future earnings estimates to avoid this kind of situation again.

But did the press release really contain news as bad as the Street made it out to be? For the second quarter, the company reported net income of $22.1 million, or $0.41 per share -- a healthy increase over last year's $17.9 million, or $0.34 per share. Sales jumped 50% to $622 million, but those results were inflated by the inclusion of the company's Galyan's stores. Same-store sales, which exclude the Galyan's locations, rose by an anemic 0.5%.

Now, the fun begins. Dick's lowered its full-year guidance to a range of $1.70 to $1.75 per share after having steadily increased it to a range of $1.82 to $1.87. The company had expected its Galyan's locations to outperform a new Dick's store, but they ended up performing about the same. That was disappointing, considering that the company -- according to some analysts -- paid roughly three times what it would have cost to open a new Dick's store. In a weak attempt at trying to pacify investors, the company was quick to point out that its estimates were the same it provided back in June 2004, when it announced its acquisition of Galyan's. Sorry, Dick's, but it's a little late for that now.

As a result, investors dropped Dick's quicker than Terrell Owens wore out his welcome with the Philadelphia Eagles.

To be fair, the company's new (old) guidance does represent an increase of more than 20% over its 2004 earnings. But when expectations have been pushed so high and the stock becomes richly valued, as has been discussed here and here, investors won't tolerate lowered outlooks.

Despite its most recent news (and because of investors' reactions), I'm still a fan of Dick's. It no doubt faces a plethora of stiff competition from the likes of Foot Locker (NYSE:FL), The Sports Authority (NYSE:TSA), and, of course, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT). But it's a company positioned for continued growth that's well-managed -- and we can hope that it will learn from its mistakes. It made a major gaffe by being overly optimistic, but I'll take that any day over a company that keeps expectations down just to easily beat estimates each quarter.

Now that its valuation is more reasonable, this may present an opportunity for long-term investors to get into the game.

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Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own shares of any of the companies in this article.