It took Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to blow Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation Regis
Today the company reported first-quarter results. (Yes, I know it's October, and it hardly seems like the first quarter. Apparently, the global hair industry operates according to its own rhythms.) Revenue, compared to the same year-ago quarter, increased a healthy 15% -- well above the 10% top-line growth the company is hoping for this fiscal year. Same-store sales, the retail industry metric used to measure the vitality of establishments open for a year or more, was up a modest 0.7%, somewhat below the company's 1% fiscal-year target. Overall, earnings were down six cents from last year to $0.48 per diluted share. The company noted that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed seven corporate salons and reduced income by three cents a share.
Despite the rough weather, this stock remains attractive. Earnings per share are still expected to come in a whopping 70% higher than last year.
The company's international salons (18.5% of total storefronts) did show some weakness. Located mostly in the U.K., France, Italy, and Spain, international salons only added four new locations, and revenue was flat. Operating income in the international segment fell more than 50%, while general and administrative expenses increased because of one-time severance costs and the timing of certain marketing initiatives. While this number looks worrisome, the explanation makes sense and bodes well for better results ahead.
The company used the $0.03 hurricane cost to reduce its guidance for this fiscal year to $2.39 a share, but that's still a big improvement from the $1.39 earned last year. The market must have liked the news, because the company's shares are up 2% in afternoon trading. The stock is trading at 15.5 times forward earnings -- hardly a big premium for a company analysts expect to grow earnings by 13% a year for the next five years.
Regis salon brands include Supercuts, Jean Louis David, Vidal Sassoon, Regis Salons, MasterCuts, and Trade Secret. In addition, the company's SmartStyle and Cost Cutter locations in Wal-Mart
This Big Hair is growing bigger everyday, and it's likely to provide stylish rewards for long-term investors' patience.
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