Why the Programmed share price crashed more than 20% today

Programmed Maintenance Services Limited (ASX: PRG) saw its share price plunge more than 24% today to $1.375, after the company announced a writedown and a profit downgrade.

Programmed provides staffing, maintenance and facility management services to the resources, marine, energy and other non-resources sectors.

But the company says it has experienced a sharp drop for marine services following the decline in oil and gas prices. As a result, the company is writing down the value of its marine goodwill by $75 million in the second half of the 2016 financial year (FY16). That has implications for marine services company MMA Offshore Ltd (ASX: MRM) too, which provides fleet services to the offshore oil and gas industry.

Operating earnings for the FY16 year, (ending March 31) are expected to be around $65 million, and the company is forecasting FY17 operating earnings of between $100 and $110 million.

The company also slashed its expected FY16 final dividend to 5 cents per share fully franked – from 11.5 cents last financial year.

Programmed bought out Skilled Group in October 2015, but the company says the downturn in the resources sector, particularly the offshore oil and gas sector has impacted both the former Programmed and Skilled parts of its business. Even worse news is that the company expects the situation to weaken even further in the short term.

Around two-thirds of the company’s revenue is generated from property, infrastructure, transport, manufacturing and other non-resources sectors and the company says the outlook remains solid.

Foolish takeaway

Programmed has never been an investment-grade, high quality company, with very low profit margins, low returns on equity, no competitive advantage and low barriers to entry into many of its operating sectors. You can also add Ashley Services Group Ltd (ASX: ASH) and Broadspectrum Ltd (ASX: BRS) ex-Transfield Services to that list.

Even after today’s share price fall, Foolish investors might want to pass on Programmed and seek better opportunities elsewhere.

BRAND NEW! Our Top Dividend Stock for 2016

Our resident dividend expert names his Top Dividend Share for 2016. Not only are the shares dirt cheap, the company is trading on a 5.6% fully franked dividend yield. Simply click here to gain access to this comprehensive FREE investment report, including the name of this fast growing ASX dividend share. No credit card required!

Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.