Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Blount International
So what: The reason for the bounce is -- you guessed it -- earnings. Blount released its Q4 report this morning, beating Wall Street's protections for both sales and earnings. Adding to the good news, management forecast fiscal 2011 sales of approximately $725 million, or nearly 5% more than previously expected.
Now what: Total sales of Blount's chainsaw parts, lawnmower blades, and related garden and forestry equipment rose 8.4% for the quarter, but the real growth driver was abroad, where Blount's sales surged nearly 12%. (In contrast, sales gains in the U.S. were described as "up slightly.") Since Blount's success is largely an international phenomenon, it's not likely to be shared by more U.S.-centric retailers of similar products, such as Home Depot and Lowe's.
As for Blount itself, even today's now-sagging rally looks overdone. Lost in all the attention paid to its GAAP earnings is the fact that Blount's free cash flow dropped significantly in 2010. With just $36 million in FCF produced last year, against an $800 million market cap ... let's just say there's less meat in this BLT than investors seem to think.
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Home Depot and Lowe's Companies are Motley Fool Inside Value picks, and Motley Fool Options has recommended writing covered calls on Lowe's Companies, but Fool contributor Rich Smith does not have any position in any company named above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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