Keeping up with your favorite companies can be pretty time-consuming, and if there's one thing most of us don't have enough of, it's time. So, your friends here at Motley Fool Hidden Gems scoured the globe to find every single piece of news and information in the past month related to Gems pick Select Comfort
Earnings: The most important information in the past month or so was the company's earnings release. As we told you back on Oct. 20, there was some good news and bad news. The good news is that the "mold scare" effect seems to be fading away. Warranty claims have settled back to more normalized levels, the company continues to sock away lots of cash, and earnings were back in line with pre-mold expectations. The company also guided analysts a wee bit higher for this quarter.
The slightly sobering news is that the company said that they may be the target of several class-action suits for "deceptive trade practices" and breach of warranty. Our basic take is that this is a short-term issue that doesn't affect the long-term value of the business.
Compensation: In other news, Select Comfort appointed Christine Day to its board of directors. Day is the president of the Asia/Pacific Group for Starbucks. Day will serve on the board's compensation committee. The potential significance here is that Select Comfort has been critiqued for its aggressive options compensation for executives and employees. It'll be interesting to see whether Day agitates for more shareholder-friendly compensation policies, or whether she tows the company line.
Holiday Season: The holiday season is in full swing starting on Friday, and Select Comfort expects to see a boost in sales as a result. We will be paying close attention for any same-store sales updates, or pre-releases that will matter to shareholders. The company has been out in the malls of America promoting its product by having Santa Claus make his annual debut, not in a sleigh, but a Sleep Number 50! It's not clear whether Mrs. Claus approves. Heck, at their age (what are they, 1,000?), they may sleep in separate rooms and Mrs. Claus may have her own "crib."
Valuation: The "mold scare" had the effect of pushing valuations down to 13 or 14 times forward earnings. With Select Comfort growing at 20%, this was compelling. The stock has since moved up 20% and now trades at close to 18 times forward earnings estimates. The company has a strong cash position and is on a run rate to produce $23 million to $25 million dollars of net income.
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