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: "This is a collect call for Valassis Communications
So what: On the surface, it wasn't a super first quarter for Valassis. Revenues actually dropped slightly against the year-ago quarter. Profits-per-share plummeted from $6.26 all the way down to $0.41. However, considering that last year's Q1 profit was inflated by a monster litigation settlement with News America Incorporated -- a sub-subsidiary of News Corp
Now what: I'm no great fan of "forward estimates," but given the size of the "outlier" distorting Valassis's historical earnings, I'll make an exception in this case. According to management, Valassis is set to earn $2.76 per share this year -- and analysts expect it to grow that number at a near-17% clip every year for the next five. While I admit to having reservations about the company's direct advertising business model, here in the age of Groupon, Facebook, and Google Offers, the prospect of paying 11 times earnings for a 17% grower does still attract me. If Valassis isn't a bargain trap, it just may be the bargain of the century.
How will Valassis fare in the era of Internet advertising? Add it to your Watchlist and find out.
Fool contributor Rich Smith owns shares of Google. Google is also a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation, a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection, and The Fool owns shares of Google. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.