Harmony, at last. Music gear retailer Guitar Center
That's a better deal than it had originally struck back in November. The day after the band and orchestra equipment retailer filed for bankruptcy, Guitar Center showed up with a $37.1 million offer. Piano maker Steinway then jumped into the fray with a slightly higher bid. However, Steinway bowed out of the potential bidding war last month, leaving Guitar Center to claim its fallen rival.
The Woodwind & The Brasswind had been in business for nearly 30 years before a lawsuit forced it into bankruptcy reorganization. The company runs the Music123.com e-tail site, as well as its own store at wwbw.com.
Yes, Guitar Center stocks more than guitars at its stores. However, this deal is likely to provide a bigger boost to Guitar Center's Musician's Friend online and catalog business. Marching bands and symphonic orchestras provide perfect target audiences for Guitar Center. More importantly, it gives the company some catalysts for growth.
Things have been running more flat than sharp at the musical-instrument superstore operator. The company has actually had to talk down profits in each of the past two quarters. Yesterday, it announced that profits per share for the seasonally significant holiday quarter would chime in between $1.05 and $1.10.
It had warned three weeks ago that it would miss its original target of producing fourth-quarter profits between $1.14 and $1.20 a share.
I still have a soft spot for Guitar Center. Even though you probably have a few reputable mom-and-pop music gear shops where you live, few companies have been able to grow the niche like Guitar Center. Sure, you can get a limited selection of marked-down entry-level gear through discount department stores like Wal-Mart
The company's latest purchase will help its visibility in untapped markets that often encourage group purchases. That has to be good, right? Duos are so much better than solo acts.
We've got all the right notes on Guitar Center:
- The Best Retail Stock for 2007: Guitar Center
- While My Guitar Center Gently Weeps
- Guitar Center Making Noise: Fool by Numbers
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz really did play in a band that eventually got signed to Columbia Records. His band sold a few records before he traded in a piano keyboard for a computer keyboard. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.