Today is not a good day to be an HP investor, as its shares are off more than 8% at the time of writing. The dramatic, rapid slide in the company’s stock price was triggered by its CEO putting forth an earning forecast of $3.40 to $3.60 share for fiscal 2013, on a non-GAAP, diluted basis.

Investors had been expecting a figure in the $4.16 per share range.

According to its release, the company anticipates diluted earnings per share on a GAAP basis to be $2.10 to $2.30. However, each of those sets of figures do not take into account an after tax charge of $1.30 per share that the firm expects.

The dramatic mismatch between expectation and expected result led to the following dive:

Screen Shot 2012 10 03 at 9.30.42 AM 520x187 HP shares crater following lower than expected profit forecast

Ironically, the company’s leader, Meg Whitman was detailing her plans to help HP find new footing. According to Businsss Insder, Whitman stated that HP will suffer from “broad-based profit decline” in the coming future. However, she did also state that the company will be “more contained” in the coming fiscal year, which I leave to you to parse.

If the company lose more than 10% on the day, we’ll update this post. At the time of writing, HP is worth roughly $31 billion dollars, a lower figure than Facebook’s current market capitalization.

Top Image Credit: Emmanuel Huybrechts