How does it feel when two trained hands come to a handshake? This morning, Steiner Leisure
Steiner is the leader in running the onboard spas for most of the largest cruise ships, serving a fleet of 120 cruise ships from the likes of Carnival
Apart from its bread-and-butter cruise ship business, Steiner also manages 56 land-based resort spas, sells proprietary health and beauty products, runs TimeToSpa.com, and has seven massage training campuses of its own. The deal would more than double the size of the company's educational business. Even though it has never been a material contributor to Steiner's bottom line, education is a very important piece of the Steiner engine.
Being a massage therapist may not feel like a very stable gig, and it's even more volatile when you have to staff a floating spa on a cruise ship that is docking from port to port. When I interviewed CEO Leonard Fluxman a little over a year ago, I asked him about the challenge of keeping a shipboard staff from bailing.
"We have trained about 80-120 [staff members] a week, so we can make sure that at a moment's notice, we can dispatch people anywhere in the world and they will walk up the gangway and be able to take the slot that somebody had disembarked with or felt that they were too tired to continue to work or had enough of ships, and be able to take up the pulse without any dropoff in any of the service or revenue," he said.
Turnover on the high seas runs to almost 70% for Steiner, while the staff turnover at its land-based resorts runs a more stable 30% to 35% annually. Running the training and certification process makes it that much easier for Steiner to recruit the top of its class, and incorporate the more nautically inclined into its growing fleet of sailing spas. It's the perfect farm-club system, when you think about it.
Steiner was one of the earliest recommendations in the Motley Fool Rule Breakers growth-stock newsletter service, and the stock is up more than 72% since being singled out 15 months ago. It has delivered the goods, meeting or beating profit expectations over the past 14 quarters. In fact, Steiner has actually topped the market's bottom-line targets all but once in that span -- and that exception took place this past summer, when Steiner simply met an estimate average that had been raised a few days earlier.
That's why Steiner can never have too many well-trained hands around. Whether it's to massage a guest hankering to be pampered, or to produce a "thumbs up" sign at the next quarterly report, going back to school will help Steiner school the competition.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders whether there is a massage therapy school for electric massaging chairs. He does own shares in Disney. 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.