Why Cracker Barrel, Daktronics, and Apollo Education Slumped Today

By Dan CaplingerFool.com

Tuesday's news that Turkish forces shot down a Russian jet that allegedly entered Turkey's airspace initially sent the stock market down early in the day. Major market benchmarks managed to rebound to finish the day mixed, but several stocks remained substantially lower. Among the poorest performers on Tuesday were Cracker Barrel Old Country Store , Daktronics , and Apollo Education Group .

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Cracker Barrel Old Country Store finished down 6% after the restaurant and gift-shop operator reported its fiscal first-quarter results this morning. Revenue climbed 2.8% on a 2.5% rise in comparable-restaurant sales and a 2.4% increase in comps on the retail side of its business. Earnings per share jumped nearly 20%, but the company's guidance for the remainder of the fiscal year included fairly muted growth estimates for comparable sales of between 2% and 3%. The company also said it expected fiscal second-quarter earnings to come in between $1.80 and $1.90 per share, which was 5% to 10% lower than the consensus forecast among those following the stock. Nevertheless, bullish investors remain confident that past performance that topped expectations should give Cracker Barrel room to grow for the future, and its valuation is reasonable given its potential to expand.

Daktronics plunged 19% after the scoreboard specialist disappointed investors with its fiscal second-quarter financials. Revenue dropped 9%, and net income fell by nearly 60% as the company's order bookings dropped from year-ago levels. The company cited normal variability in order timing for the declines and pointed out that orders from the Miami Dolphins, the University of Mississippi, and the Las Vegas Arena helped to bolster its Live Events segment. However, Daktronics said that it chose to delay production on some of its backlogged orders in order to include enhanced capabilities. If the company does indeed see a boost in its fiscal third-quarter results early next year, then it will prove that Daktronics was correct in blaming timing for its temporarily poor performance. Weighing against that is the fact that the winter months are traditionally weak, but a pick-up in spring and summer orders could set the stage for a better remainder of the year.

Finally, Apollo Education Group dropped 6%. The company found out last night that index manager S&P Dow Jones Indices would delete the for-profit education specialist from the S&P MidCap 400 index. S&P said that the company behind the University of Phoenix ranked at the bottom of the S&P MidCap 400, and somewhat surprisingly, the company will not join the S&P SmallCap 600 either. Given the hit that the for-profit education industry has taken over the past several years, the decision from the index manager is just another vote of no confidence in the prospects for Apollo Education to make a comeback and restore its ailing reputation among investors.

The article Why Cracker Barrel, Daktronics, and Apollo Education Slumped Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Dan Caplinger 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.

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