Nash Finch ( NAFC) plummeted after the Minneapolis-based food-distribution concern missed Wall Street's first-quarter earnings expectations by a wide margin.

The company posted earnings of $3.9 million, or 29 cents a share, compared with $7 million and 54 cents a share a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were looking for earnings of 64 cents a share.

Sales totaled $1 billion, up from $882.2 million a year ago, primarily reflecting the company's acquisition of wholesale food distribution centers in Lima, Ohio, and Westville, Ind., from Roundy's Supermarkets.

Nash Finch's shares were sinking $5.23, or 17.4%, to $24.90 in recent trading.