Hardcore coffee drinkers like their coffee black. That's probably the way they like their income statements, too. Gourmet coffee maker Diedrich Coffee
When Diedrich decided to issue its quarterly press release at 8 p.m. last night, you knew it wasn't going to be tasty. The company hasn't posted a quarterly profit in nearly two years, so it's not as though it's really burying unexpected bad news late in the news day.
However, the report was bitterly bad. Even though revenue inched 16% higher to hit $9.2 million, the company's December quarter deficit widened to $0.40 a share after a $0.27-per-share shortcoming a year earlier.
Is Diedrich's poor showing a bad omen heading into next week's report out of Starbucks
Diedrich is a company in transition. It is closing down its company-owned Diedrich and Coffee People stores and will retain its Gloria Jean's stores to have a convenient way to train prospective franchisees. The company will still be collecting franchise fees from its franchised locations, but how well do you think they must be doing if Diedrich itself is pulling out without the royalty overhead?
Diedrich wants to focus on its wholesale business, and that's a good place to be. I got my wife a Keurig single-cup coffee maker for Christmas, and she's going through those Diedrich K-cups like candy. Yes, it's a pretty crowded niche -- with half a dozen rivals, like Green Mountain
All hope isn't lost for Diedrich. However, its relatively clean balance sheet is going to get muddy if these quarterly brews keep coming out red.
And as far as those late-night press releases go, don't expect to sell us coffee and then have us not be awake for the bad news, Diedrich.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz can actually walk to two Starbucks stores from his home, but he's still not much of a coffee sipper. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.