With 10,993 worldwide locations, Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Regis
Same-store sales, the retail industry metric used to measure the vitality of establishments open for a year or more, were up 0.9% compared with the same quarter last year. That matched the company's growth during the second quarter, but it fell from the more robust 1.4% increase last quarter. Overall revenue for the quarter increased a solid 17%.
Muting same-store sales growth are current hair trends. Long hair is back in fashion, as are shaved heads and very short hair for men. Until the long-hair and no-hair fashions change, small increases in same-store sales are probably as good as Regis is going to get.
Net income, up 10% during the quarter, fell short of the strong revenue growth but got about a $2 million boost because of a resolution of previous tax filing matters, which dropped the company's tax rate by 5.3% to 30.4%.
What really hurt earnings was an accrual for taxable employee benefits -- a matter that Regis is working with the IRS to resolve. General and administrative expenses, where the accrual was applied, skyrocketed $16 million (29.9%) this quarter over the same period last year.
For 2006, the company is expecting (before acquisitions) a 10% increase in sales, a 1% increase in same-store sales, and earnings of $2.42 per diluted share. This earnings forecast is an increase of 9% from the just-completed fiscal year (excluding a one-time goodwill impairment charge) and up 7.1% from fiscal 2004 earnings. Since acquisitions have been a key part of annual growth and have also been accretive to earnings, the company's actual earnings expectations would be higher than those given as guidance.
Even though Regis is big, it still controls just 2% of the worldwide market share. That means there is a lot of opportunity for Big Hair to grow its salon business. And at 16.6 times company guidance for fiscal 2006, the stock is reasonably priced, especially given analyst expectations of 13% annual growth for the next five years.
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