Why Vera Bradley Inc. Stock Plunged 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:Shares of Vera Bradley were down 16% as of 12:25 p.m. Wednesday after the women's accessories specialist announced weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

So what:Quarterly revenue from continuing operations fell 2.4% year over year to $152.6 million, or below Vera Bradley's guidance range of $158 million to $163 million. That translated to net income of $17.3 million, or $0.43 per share. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $0.45 per share on sales of $160.3 million.

Now what:Vera Bradley CEO Robert Wallstrom added, "While we have made progress on our key initiatives, the overall business trends remain difficult. By this time, we had expected to regain momentum in the business, but that has not happened."

Wallstrom went on to explain that while core customers continue buying Vera Bradley's products, the company's primary challenge is attracting new customers to the brand.

In the meantime, Vera Bradley expects current-quarter revenue of $103 million to $109 million, with diluted earnings per share of $0.00 to $0.03. Both ranges are well below Wall Street's models, which called for earnings of $0.17 per share on sales of $122.1 million.

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Finally, for the full year Vera Bradley sees net revenue of $510 million to $525 million, with diluted earnings per share of $0.82 to $0.92. Analysts were looking for full-year sales and earnings of $570 million and $1.21 per share, respectively.

All things considered, I can't blame the market for so aggressively bidding down Vera Bradley stock today. That's why for now, I'm perfectly content observing the company from a distance to see whether its efforts to target new customers bear fruit in the coming quarters.

The article Why Vera Bradley Inc. Stock Plunged Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Steve Symington 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.