Why SMS Management & Technology Limited shares are getting crushed today

It’s fair to say it has been a disappointing year for shareholders of SMS Management & Technology Limited (ASX: SMX). Unfortunately the year just got worse today following the release of the company’s AGM presentation.

In early afternoon trade the information technology solutions provider’s share price is down 13% to $1.41, bringing its year-to-date decline to a massive 53%.

In August the company released full year results which revealed an 8% year on year drop in revenue to $328.7 million and a 43% plunge in net profit after tax to $9.7 million.

The unexpected loss of a large client transformation project at the start of the financial year was largely to blame, leading to its SMS Consulting division posting a 14% drop in revenue to $234.4 million.

Considering the segment accounts for 71% of total revenue, its underperformance makes a noticeable impact on the company’s overall performance.

At the time I pointed out that management had not advised of an improvement in trading conditions during the first six weeks of FY 2017. This led me to believe that a turnaround was not forthcoming and that investors would be better off staying away until today’s trading update.

As it turns out a turnaround has not materialised and the company’s performance continues to weaken. The deterioration of its sales pipeline and contract wins in the second half of FY 2016 has had a negative impact on the first four months of FY 2017.

As a result management expects first half FY 2017 revenue to be in the range of $150 million to $155 million, with EBITDA of approximately $4.5 million to $5 million prior to significant items.

This will be a drop from last year’s result, which itself was down significantly from the same period a year earlier. Half year revenue in FY 2016 was $168.1 million, with EBITDA coming in at $11 million.

Once again I would urge shareholders to keep clear of the company until there is a vast improvement in its performance. Until then industry peers RXP Services Ltd (ASX: RXP) and Melbourne IT Limited (ASX: MLB) may be better investment options.

Alternatively these fantastic growth shares could be just the ticket for smart investors. Have you got them in your portfolio?

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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.

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