We'll pass on the horse jokes for now. Helen of Troy
This is a company we've discussed in the Foolish 8 and elsewhere, going as far back as 1997. Last November, Zeke Ashton took a detailed look -- discussing, among other things, the likelihood that a formerly unprofitable Tactica direct response operation would lose its favorable tax status, making year-over-year profit comparisons more difficult.
That is precisely what happened -- but with a twist. In fiscal Q1, Tactica sales actually fell year over year, though in line with company expectations. The same happened in the latest quarter, making it the one division singled out by the CEO for under-performance. As a result, the company now says it's looking at options that could include selling the division.
In fact, Tactica is just more than half-owned by Helen of Troy and sells a different product mix -- including the made-for-TV Epil-Stop and IGIA lines. Arguably, the division was never a good fit, and news that the company is ready to make a change, if necessary, should encourage investors. Surely, brands like Brut, for which the North American rights were acquired last month from Unilever
Meanwhile, let's commend management for providing some detail about its stock buyback plan in its earnings release. The number of shares repurchased, and at what average price, is information Helen of Troy investors can use to determine whether repurchasing shares is a good use of the company's cash.
Whatever investors decide, this level of transparency, like the open-minded approach to the Tactica situation, hints strongly of shareholder-friendly management.
Shareholder-friendly management is an obsession of Tom Gardner's when searching for stock ideas for his Motley Fool Hidden Gems .
You can reach Dave Marino-Nachison at DMarnach@Fool.com .