The QinetiQ (LSE: QQ) share price crashed 43p on Thursday, losing 13% of its value. That made it by far the FTSE 250‘s biggest loser on the day. It comes on the back of the defence group’s Q2 trading update, ahead of interim results due on 11 November.
The news release spoke of a “strong underlying operating performance,” and an “excellent order intake at £700m, 25% higher than the first half of FY21.” But that didn’t protect the shares from the latest curse of supply chain problems.
The company said: “We are experiencing technical and supply chain issues on a large complex programme, which, if unmitigated, could result in the need for a one-off write down to our short-term guidance.” QinetiQ went on to say that it’s working towards “mitigating this risk to less than £15m.”
For a company with turnover last year of £1,278m, and a pre-tax profit of £124.7m, that doesn’t seem like too big a horror story to me. But these days, any mention of supply chain issues seems almost certain to send shareholders rushing for the exit. So has the reaction been overdone, and does it give me a buying opportunity for my Stocks and Shares ISA?
QinetiQ share price performance
Well, firstly, I need to put the QinetiQ share price fall into perspective. Essentially, what’s happened is that Thursday’s drop has wiped out the stock’s progress over the previous year. We’re now looking at a 12-month rise of just 4%, from the 20% gain the shares were at the day before.
Over five years, QinetiQ shares have gained 27%, a bit ahead of the FTSE 250’s 22%. Oh, and the FTSE 100 has managed just 2.8% in the same timescale. So we’re looking at a higher growth index, and a stock that’s above the index average. And that’s after Thursday’s surprise one-day slump.
But back to the trading update. To illustrate how it doesn’t seem to be too worried about the current problem, the company told us it’s maintaining its medium- to long-term guidance. QinetiQ is still targeting “mid-single digit percentage compound annual organic revenue growth over the next 5 years.” And maybe some extra growth should strategic acquisition opportunities come up.
Healthy cash situation
Operating cash flow was said to be good. And at 30 September, the balance sheet boasted approximately £140m in net cash. Never mind companies struggling to recover from the pandemic crisis under increased debt loads, this is what I like to see.
What’s the risk? Well, how often have we heard one warning like this and then been hit by further bad news later? Perhaps there are more supply chain problems hiding round the corner, ready to pounce on us as soon as we let down our guard.
I think suspicions like that could well explain the scale of Thursday’s QinetiQ share price drop. But isn’t this a good time to buy, when pessimism is high and shares are low? I think so.
The post Why did the QinetiQ share price crash on Thursday? appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.
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Alan Oscroft has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.