I would humbly submit that I'm about as unbiased a commentator on Brunswick
Either way, it's pretty clear that Brunswick threw a gutter ball when it came to guidance.
Things started off okay, with fourth-quarter revenue rising 12% and operating income increasing 22%. The hitch, though, came with the guidance. Instead of the $3.89 average estimate for next year's earnings, management is pegging the figure at $3.25 to $3.45. That's not exactly the sort of debut investors were hoping for from the new CEO.
With substantially lower guidance, Brunswick's concerns about consumer spending and peak earnings are likely to get more pointed. Did much of the past sales growth come from the housing ATM? Does this mean that there's less money floating around for Brunswick boats, Coach
Honestly, looking at the numbers over time, I'm not sure that I should really be all that interested in the answer. Historical, structural free cash flow growth has been relatively modest and while return on invested capital is pretty good now, I'm not quite as confident about the future.
When it's all said and done, this is a company with relatively low margins that is highly dependent upon discretionary and leisure spending. Though I'll acknowledge right up front that my cash flow growth assumptions might be too low (12% CAGR for the next five years, 8% CAGR for the five years after that), I just don't see a lot of upside, even with today's big drop. But there's certainly brand value here, so investors who disagree with my growth outlook may yet find that these shares strike a chord for them.
For more leisurely Foolishness:
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).