There are a lot of small-cap drama queens out there that offer some guilty viewing pleasures.
No one should be surprised by this revelation. Parlux, or rather, its CEO Ilia Lekach, has a long history of befuddling corporate behavior, including making a lot of strange claims that tend not to come true, though they might just inflate stock prices -- such as the repeat of the private buyout that doesn't come to pass. (Here's another doozy, from Lekach's air-taxi-turned-perfume concern, Nimbus Group.) This also illustrates Lekach's history of funky looking related-party transactions.
In fact, it's one of Lekach's trademark, press-getting maneuvers that has, ostensibly, led to the delayed filing. Parlux says that the reason for the lateness is that it needs extra time to do the math on a charge resulting from accounting for the effect of a 2-for-1 stock split it did earlier this year. That stock split that was, of course, meaningless, despite Lekach's claim that it would "increase retail ownership and provide pricing levels that are accessible to a broader group of investors." The stock never traded higher than $40, pre-split. That's hardly the kind of sum that keeps investors on the sidelines.
In other news today, we learned that Parlux is the target of yet another lawsuit, this one alleging that officers inflated the stock price through false statements while simultaneously selling their own shares. A quick check of the insider selling data shows that Parlux officers and directors, including Lekach and CFO Frank Buttacavoli -- whose name, unless my Italian escapes me, means "cabbage tosser" -- have had their finger on the sell button quite often over the past year. Of course, most of that dumping, err, selling, was done at much better prices than could be obtained by those left holding the bag these days.
If the creepy corporate governance isn't enough, how about the valuation? Although the products are widely available -- from most of the Federated Department Stores
Last year, free cash flow growth, which was never all that great, reversed, and the firm consumed $31 million. Giving Parlux the benefit of the doubt and assuming 20% growth for the next five years from a normalized free cash flow numbers (that's decidedly over-generous) I come up with a fair value of $3 a share.
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Seth Jayson wonders why anyone would want to smell like Paris. At the time of publication, he had shares of Guess? but no positions in any other company mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here . Fool rules are here .