As a guy who's as excited as the next investor by the -- rarely fulfilled -- dream of getting in early on the next Taser
But the blue-light special of the bunch has long been Winn-Dixie
Today's fourth-quarter and year-end results don't signal the end of the hurt, but they do point to continued improvement. Yes, revenues were flat, and comps were down, and the quarter brought a loss of $0.16 per share. But $0.15 of the red ink came from discontinued operations, and restructuring and impairment charges were responsible for another negative nickel. Looking at the bright side, gross margins improved from the third quarter, and administration expenses dropped 0.6% from the period last year.
There's still plenty of work to be done, including remodeling of stores, restructuring of distribution networks, and rebuilding the brand as a service-oriented retailer. The firm will rely on borrowing to buttress its so-so balance sheets, but it has secured sufficient funds -- in management's opinion -- to get the job finished.
Those betting that Winn-Dixie might rise, Lazarus-like, will want to take a much longer stare at the cash flow and balance sheets, not to mention get a better sense for the boardroom's capacity to raise this firm from the dead. But those brave enough to see the value and have faith that management's makeover plans will turn things around could reap some outstanding rewards.
Winn-Dixie is precisely the kind of situation Philip Durell slices and dices in order to come up with real bargains for The Motley Fool Inside Value . Take a free trial, and see what the Street is missing.
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