I can hear the sports-stadium standard Rock & Roll, Part 2 by Gary Glitter playing in my mind as I write this; rather fitting, considering that the earnings report Guitar Center
Net income for the first quarter rose 123% for a take of $11.8 million, or $0.46 per diluted share. Overall revenues of $349.7 million jumped up a whopping 21.6%. Breaking out the divisions, same-store sales for the flagship Guitar Center stores increased 11%, and revenues for the direct-response unit Musician's Friend went up by 28.2%; American Music stores experienced flat growth. The company also sees diluted earnings per share for the second quarter between $0.33 and $0.35, which is a more optimistic outlook when compared with previous guidance.
Except for the stagnancy at the American Music asset, the general message of this report is that Guitar Center continues to be in tune with its business. The firm's efforts to become more efficient and improve operating margins (a healthier rise in net margins would be even better) are paying off. These moves are key to taking advantage of windfalls like the one seen last quarter.
For some, Guitar Center's ongoing relevance could make it an interesting long-term investment possibility. Music is a powerful entertainment medium, and it will be forever; kids will always fantasize about being the next arena superstar. And Guitar Center will probably be the retail brand of choice for a lot of those people wishing to emulate the nirvana that is rock 'n' roll.
With the advent of the Internet and advances in desktop technology, many wannabes can actually record and distribute or promote their music in a relatively cheap and easy fashion, perhaps someday seeing their material downloaded on one of Apple's
I think I'll head down to my local Guitar Center store and celebrate its latest quarter by banging out the opening solo to Cheap Trick's Ain't That A Shame on one of the drum kits. (Then again, I probably won't. I'm pretty bad on drums, and it's embarrassing when the more musically talented sales clerks stare in my direction, silently communicating for me to stop.)
Are you a Fool Community member? Give us a test drive with a free trial.
Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned.