Pumping out its January-quarter earnings release at the end of April -- on a Friday night, no less -- would normally have one thinking that Toys "R" Us
For starters, the company's results were pretty good, with its holiday-quarter earnings coming in at $1.18 a share. That was a marked improvement from the $0.72 showing a year earlier, though this quarter's results were inflated by one-time favorable items related to credit card company settlements, a store sale, and gains on sales of its Kids "R" Us properties.
The other reason that the weekend report shouldn't come off as suspicious is that the company is already spoken for. Back in March, it announced that it had accepted a $6.6 billion buyout offer from a consortium of investment firms. The deal is expected to close this summer.
It's been a long road for the company, which was the country's leading toy retailer until Wal-Mart
Still, Toys "R" Us shareholders should consider themselves fortunate to be able to cash out at a premium. Way too many toy retailers didn't have that luxury. They didn't go out on their own terms, but rather on the terms dictated by bankruptcy proceedings.
We all have a soft spot in our hearts for the child inside who never quite grew up, but times have changed. The traditional toy store may have outlived its usefulness in its present incarnation. Most of the popular games and toys can be found at discount department stores like Wal-Mart and Target
Toys "R" Us is going out on a strong note in terms of profitability, even though its sales dipped slightly to $4.8 billion for the quarter. Yes, it's going to be strange typing in the "TOY" ticker symbol and getting back an error message come July or August. But it was clear that Toys "R" Us had outgrown not just its playthings, but also its stint as a publicly traded company.
More TOY stories:
- Toys "R" Us at $6.6 billion is no cheap plaything.
- The company had delayed its filing to the three-month max to make the appropriate lease accounting fixes.
- The company did come to a fork in the road.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has two young sons, so he knows Toys "R" Us all too well. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.