Getting married? The services of The Knot
The Knot registered fourth-quarter and full-year results yesterday. For the quarter, the company saw a 27% gain in net sales after booking $12.8 million. Operating income ballooned over 850% to $1.3 million. Net income went up 700% to $1.5 million ($0.06 per diluted share) compared to $185,000 ($0.01 per diluted share) a year ago.
For the full year, The Knot's net revenues increased 24% to $51.4 million. Operating income and net income both tripled against the previous year's profits.
These are outstanding numbers. The market saw fit yesterday to bestow the company's shares with a nice pop in value -- the stock closed with a 5.30% gain. But there's always the bad with the good. In this case, we see that The Knot is not without its legal issues. The online concern has been at odds with another nuptials-related entity, WeddingChannel.com. The litigation process has added significant expenses to the company's operations.
Yet there's just so much more good here than bad. Take a look at gross margins: In 2005, they went up to 78% from the previous year's 73%. National and local online advertising initiatives saw a very healthy 47% growth rate, while the publishing segment brought in a 21% gain. However, the 4% drop in merchandising revenue for the quarter is a little concerning.
But the amount of long-term debt the company has seems to be manageable. The company has also hooked up with American Express
The big question: Can The Knot keep providing relatively robust growth rates for shareholders for a long time to come? Competition will be tough. Any bear making an argument about lack of advantageous moats would be worth listening to. But The Knot isn't just about wedding bells -- it also has dating bells covered, too, with GreatBoyfriends.com. And it markets to couples after the ceremony has concluded via TheNest.com. So the company has covered a broad spectrum of its possible customer base. That type of vertical integration could work very well for a niche online business like this.
Will other online ventures take thunder away from the company? That's always possible. But The Knot is leveraging many "I do's" to create growth, and it has a strong momentum in its business right now. However, possible investors should note that the company seems expensive from a PEG perspective, so buying on a pullback or drop in price would provide a higher margin of safety. Be sure to perform your own due diligence. After all, you wouldn't pop the question on the first date, would you?
Get married to these Takes:
We also have a discussion board dedicated to The Knot.