Give 'em credit, folks. American Woodmark (NASDAQ:AMWD) tried to warn us. Providing full-year guidance that envisioned a worst-case scenario of imploding profits, the company worked to nail together a little room for an upside surprise.

All for naught.

Disaster comes, more looms
As we discussed in last week's Foolish Forecast, American Woodmark (AWC) had laid out guidance for investors that ranged from mediocre to horrible, laying down a floor on expectations for just how bad this year could get: Sales of about $624 million, 18.5% gross margins thereon, and $0.70 per share in net profit.

But while management didn't update guidance on Tuesday, the numbers contained in the earnings report foreshadow worse than the worst-case scenario previously envisioned. Here's how things stand with the fiscal year three-quarters over:

  • Sales: $459.1 million year-to-date
  • Gross margin: 17.4%
  • Profits: $0.29 per share

For context, you've got to go back a dozen years -- to 1996 -- to find a third-quarter report in which AWC reported less YTD profit than it did yesterday. So while it may sound like hyperbole, overstatement, or panic, it's also entirely accurate to describe this year as a "disaster."

What we're in for
Barring simply superb guidance from major customersLowe's (NYSE:LOW) and Home Depot (NYSE:HD) later this month, I foresee AWC missing all three elements of its most recent guidance. For the company to hit the bottom of its previous guidance range, Q4 revenue will have to snap back from a 23% year-over-year slump and come in essentially flat versus last year's Q4. Gross margins must skyrocket, and the company must somehow work $0.41 per share down to the bottom line.

I don't see that happening. Do you?

(Sorry, that sounded like a rhetorical question. I mean it -- if you see a chance that American Woodmark will pull out of its slump and surprise us in June, stop by Motley Fool CAPS and tell us why. We could use some good news.)