What: Shares of Cabela's (NYSE:CAB) in November, according to S&P Capital IQ data, following reports the sporting goods retailer was fielding takeover interest and considering whether to put itself up for sale. Keeping in mind the move came on the heels of weaker-than-expected quarterly reports from Cabela's in both July and October, its stock is still down nearly 9% so far in 2015:
So what: As it turns out, last week Cabela's officially confirmed its decision to "explore and evaluate a wide range of strategic alternatives to further enhance shareholder value." But Cabela's also insisted the review process comes without a specific timetable, and there are no guarantees it will result in the sale of the company.
Now what: In the meantime, Cabela's will focus on its current multiyear restructuring plan unveiled along with its quarterly results in October. More specifically, that plan aims to both lower expenses and increase returns on invested capital. To start, Cabela's says it has already opportunities to reduce operating expenses by 75 to 150 basis points over the next three years.
Additionally, Cabela's is working to optimize its balance sheet, including plans to divest "unproductive assets" and reduce working capital. Proceeds from this effort will partly fund a two-year, $500 million share repurchase program authorized by Cabela's board in early September.
In the end, though the prospect of quick gains from an acquisition is enticing, it's more speculative in nature and shouldn't be central to your investing thesis. Rather, I think investors would be wise to focus primarily on the fundamentals of Cabela's business, and the progress of its restructuring plan in the coming years. If Cabela's can deliver on those fronts, patient long-term investors should be able to reap the rewards.