Luxury clothier

Nordstrom

(JWN) - Get Report

warned after the close Tuesday that it wouldn't meet its third-quarter financial targets, citing changes in the way it records inventory.

The Seattle-based company said it expects to post a net profit of 13 cents to 14 cents a share, compared with the 8 cents a share it earned in the same period a year ago. Previous guidance called for a profit of 16 cents to 20 cents a share. Analysts polled by research firm Thomson Financial/First Call were projecting the company would earn 19 cents a share.

"The shortfall primarily reflects record-keeping changes associated with the company's transition to a new inventory management system and isolated increases versus plan in selling and distribution center expenses," the company said in a press release. "

But we believe that expense and gross margin opportunities remain and we are positive about the fourth quarter and beyond."

As a result, the shares tumbled $3.78, or 17.2%, to $18.25 in after-hours trading on Instinet, where nearly 77,000 shares changed hands. The company is scheduled to report earnings after the close on Nov. 19.