BJ's Wholesale Club
Well, last week, investors got more information to trade on. In fact, the last few months have been busy for the company. So let's see how the events might affect a potential buyout.
Perhaps the most encouraging piece of information was the resignation of the CEO in November (yes, investors can be harsh). Basically, the board is open to new approaches, which likely means evaluating a buyout transaction.
Interestingly enough, BJ's continued its management shakeup last week. Laura Sen is the company's new executive vice president of merchandising and logistics, whereas Ed Gillooly has been appointed the senior vice president of marketing and membership. The company's CFO, Frank Forward, has also agreed to stay with the company for another three years.
Next, the company is still showing weakness in sales. In December, same-store sales were a measly 0.06%. Moreover, the forecast is 1% to 3% growth in January.
So how does this play into the buyout analysis? It means that the company will need to take some tough actions, which may be more easily done as a private company.
We're not finished yet. BJ's is going to shut down two ProFoods Restaurant Supply locations, as well as 46 in-club pharmacies. As a result, there will be a restructuring charge of $0.42 to $0.48 per share. This means a fourth-quarter earnings forecast of $0.17 to $0.25 per share.
There's no doubt that BJ's needs to find ways to compete effectively against its much larger and more powerful competitors, Wal-Mart
Might these changes scare away potential buyers? I don't think they will. Private equity firms have bought a variety of smaller retailers, such as The Sports Authority, Good Guys, and Brookstone. Even Toys R Us was able to do a buyout despite the intense competition from Wal-Mart.
So even with the recent operational and management changes, the rumors should not go away. However, betting on a buyout can be particularly dangerous for Foolish investors. If anything, management may want some time to restructure the company before selling out.