Why Macquarie Infrastructure Stock Collapsed Today

MarketsMotley Fool

What happened

Shares of Macquarie Infrastructure Corp (NYSE: MIC) came tumbling down on Thursday, falling 37.4% as of 12:34 p.m. EST. The fuel storage infrastructure specialist reported its fiscal Q4 2017 earnings results last night, and it appears to have missed estimates pretty badly.

Continue Reading Below

According to Yahoo! Finance data, the company reported $0.43 per share in pro forma profit, versus the $0.51 per share that Wall Street had estimated.

So what

That's the pro forma story, anyway. When calculated according to GAAP accounting standards, the numbers looked a bit prettier. Counting one-time, pre-tax items, GAAP profits for the quarter were $4.13, and $5.13 for the year -- roughly three times what Macquarie had earned in 2016.

Reviewing its results, Macquarie especially emphasized its cash production and distribution in 2017, noting that the company's "total distribution" to shareholders was $5.56 per share, "consistent with our guidance for a year over year increase of 10%," and a bigger number than the company actually earned in the year. CEO Christopher Frost called this result "solid."

Now what

Dividends in 2018, however, may be a bit softer. In order to conserve cash internally to use for "repurposing ... assets at International-Matex Tank Terminals and to take advantage of the incentives to invest in growth projects that are a part of recent tax reform," Macquarie advised investors that it will be cutting its 2018 dividend payments by about 28%, to $1 per quarter, or $4 for the year.

Further necessitating the move, Macquarie warned that its free cash flow in 2018 will probably fall by about 8% to 10% relative to 2017 levels.

Whatever the motivation for the cut, investors are not taking the news well.

10 stocks we like better than Macquarie InfrastructureWhen investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Macquarie Infrastructure wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of February 5, 2018

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.