Holiday cheer has been a real page-turner for Books-A-Million
Books-A-Million now expects to earn between $0.76 and $0.79 a share for the year. It had previously pegged its fiscal 2006 profitability between $0.70 and $0.72 a share.
It's encouraging that Books-A-Million's success isn't being driven by just one hit book. It's not as if J.K. Rowliing put out the concluding volume of the Harry Potter series over Christmas without telling anyone. Books-A-Million is crediting brisk sales in everything from cookbooks to Sudoku puzzle books to the growing popularity of religious and inspirational must-reads.
That's clearly good news for larger rivals like Borders
The market isn't convinced. Books-A-Million is trading at just 13 times earnings. If you rightfully back out a one-time $0.05-per-share hurricane insurance settlement, it's still a reasonably cheap 14 times earnings. Either way, the multiple is a few notches lower than Borders or Barnes & Noble. So don't put this book down just yet -- but then again, don't rush out to buy it until you see how the next few chapters play out.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves reading so much that he married an English teacher. (OK, maybe she wasn't teaching English when they first met.) He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.