Among other interesting products that Brookstone has been producing these days, we find big sales and profits. The latest numbers show that the retailer finished 2003 with record annual revenues of $434 million -- up 15% over last year -- and a 46% increase in earnings, to $1.30 per share for the year.
Much of the gain was due to a strong holiday selling season, which also boosted sales at competing purveyors of luxury gift goods such as Sharper Image
In Brookstone's case, the fourth quarter provided over half the full-year revenues, through a same-store sales increase of 12.6%, and an overall sales uptick of 18% over the prior-year period.
But that's not the only good news. In addition to ramping up the revs, the company also improved gross margins by 2.6% for the year and 1.9% for the holiday quarter. Shareholders have been rewarded for their faith, as the stock has more than doubled to today's $22.50 from the 52-week low of just under $10.
The current price would put Brookstone on a forward P/E of under 15 based on management's full-year guidance of around $1.55 per share (which represents 19% earnings expansion). That puts it on a par with competitor Sharper Image, which looks for similar growth in the year ahead.
If Americans continue the recent trend to spend, both of these companies -- and their shareholders -- will reap the rewards.
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If Fool contributor Seth Jayson owned a barbecue grill, he would suffer no thermometer other than the remote, talking variety. He owns no stake in any companies mentioned above. View his Fool profile here.