December 4, 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 Vail Resorts (NYSE: MTN ) were getting their skis crossed today, falling as much as 12% after reporting a disappointing quarter.
So what: Vail, which owns a number of vacation properties as well as the famous ski areas, said its loss grew in the offseason quarter and it may not hit its earnings goal for the fiscal year. The company posted an EPS loss of $1.70, down from $1.54 a year ago, and below estimates of $1.58. More importantly, management said it will be more difficult to meet its goal of growing EBITDA than it had anticipated. Season-pass sales, an early indicator, grew by 8% in dollars during the quarter.
Now what: Investors need not be bothered by the earnings miss in the off season, but slower growth is always a risk. Vail is already priced rather dearly at a forward P/E of 33. The company is making efforts to expand through acquisitions, but revenue growth is expected to be moderate. I'd tread lightly until management is more optimistic about increasing the bottom line.
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