October 10, 2012
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of personal-care products maker Helen of Troy (Nasdaq: HELE ) fell as much as 12% after the company released a disappointing second-quarter earnings report.
So what: Revenue of $287.4 million was well off analyst expectations of $310 million, and an EPS of $0.72 also missed estimates of $0.85. Even worse, that figure represented a drop from last year's per-share profit of $0.74. The company, which makes products under the Revlon and Vidal Sassoon brands among other household names, also trimmed EPS guidance for the year to $3.50-$3.60 from $3.70-$3.80.
Now what: Without an increased tax bill, profits would have increased slightly for Helen of Troy, but still there's not much to like here. Only its health care division showed significant gains, with sales increasing 12%, and management did not offer much of an explanation for the big miss, only blaming a "challenging retail and worldwide economic environment." Throwing a bone to investors, they touted a strong balance sheet and a share repurchase plan, but said little about operations. With a P/E of 8.4, this stock may look like a bargain to some investors, but with little growth and no plan to reinvigorate its brands, Helen of Troy does not seem to be offering a compelling reason to invest right now.
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