Why Axiall Corp's Shares Popped Then Dropped Today

By Markets Fool.com

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

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What: What happens when an earnings report both beats and misses expectations at the same time? You get a move like Axiall Corp saw this morning, jumping 10% in early trading only to fall to a slight loss in afternoon trading.

So what: The pop was partially caused by a huge influx of trading just after 10:00 a.m. EST, but earnings were confusing as well. Fourth quarter revenue fell 6% to $1.07 billion, below the $1.16 billion market analysts expected. On the bottom line, net loss was $13.8 million, or $0.20 per share, but adjusted for one-time items earnings were $0.19, three cents better than expectations.

Now what: The bottom line is that Axiall's operations are struggling no matter how you look at them. Net income for 2014 fell by 72% to $46.3 million and nearly every financial metric is moving in the wrong direction.

The big trade that caused shares to pop this morning looks to have been an outlier and I don't see enough good news to be jumping into shares today. I'd like to see the positive trends, like lower input costs and higher sale prices, management hopes will materialize in 2015 actually hit the books before reevaluating this stock.

The article Why Axiall Corp's Shares Popped Then Dropped Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

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Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.