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Why Shares of R.R. Donnelley & Sons Plunged Today

What happened

Shares of R.R. Donnelley & Sons (NYSE: RRD) tumbled on Wednesday after the company reported a mixed second-quarter earnings report. While revenue came in above analyst expectations, a weak bottom line sent the stock down 17% by 12:10 PM.

So what

RRD reported second-quarter revenue of $1.65 billion, up 0.8% year over year and $40 million higher than the average analyst estimate. Variable print sales dropped 0.9%, driven by volume declines in direct mail and commercial and digital print, as well as price erosion. Strategic-services revenue rose 1.5%, with volume increases in logistics and sourcing and higher fuel surcharges offsetting lower postage pass-through sales and logistics price declines.

Image source: RRD.

International sales rose 2.8%, with significant volume increases in Asia offsetting volume declines in global turnkey solutions and business process outsources, as well as unfavorable foreign exchange rates, and price erosion in Asia.

Non-GAAP earnings per share (EPS) came in at a loss of $0.06, down from a gain of $0.01 in the prior-year period and $0.05 lower than analysts expected. RRD CEO Dan Knotts explained the earnings shortfall:

Our overall second-quarter performance was within the range of our expectations. However, while net sales remained stable, income from operations was negatively impacted by unfavorable mix in several of our businesses and changes in foreign-exchange rates. In addition, we incurred investments and start-up costs in Asia as we quickly ramp up a new packaging production facility to support a significant business opportunity that we expect will begin to generate incremental sales volume later in the third quarter.

Now what

While RRD's bottom line came up short, the company reiterated its guidance for the full year. Revenue is expected between $6.8 billion and $7.0 billion, with non-GAAP EPS between $1.00 and $1.30.

With RRD stock now trading for just 10 times the low end of that non-GAAP earnings guidance after Wednesday's plunge, it's clear that the market is pessimistic on the company's prospects.

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