Remember the group Devo? After I heard those prophets of devolution, I was moved to take drum lessons, in part to learn many of the band's unique, robotic beats, such as the difficult one providing the rhythm in "Whip It," which is featured these days in a commercial for Procter & Gamble's
There wasn't a Guitar Center
That's one of the things Guitar Center has going for it -- there will always be generation after generation of aspiring rock stars, and they need quality equipment to emulate their favorite musicians, whether it be Kiss, The Ataris, The Darkness, whatever. And as the latest earnings report shows, a lot of those ambitious folks plunked down a lot of cash at the music stores in the third quarter.
Let's go down the playlist. Net income more than doubled to $12.4 million ($0.45 per diluted share) for Q3 2004 against $5.8 million ($0.23 per diluted share) a year ago. The release notes that this reporting period takes into account the dilutive effect of 2.9 million senior convertible notes that now come into play because the conversion requirements have been satisfied. (This basically means that a bigger float of outstanding shares is potentially out there if many noteholders decide to change over to stock, an important fact for investors to keep tabs on.)
Net sales for all divisions of the company jumped more than 18% to $354.9 million, compared with $300.1 million last year. Same-store sales for the Guitar Center segment increased 9%, while the Musician's Friend (a catalog/Internet sales business) division jumped more than 21% in its reported sales revenues. The American Music stores saw an operating loss of $1.3 million, with flat same-store sales results.
When I wrote about Guitar Center's earnings back in April, American Music was the laggard then as well. But looking at the big picture, this music chain is pumping out a melody of profits.
Why? One of the major reasons is its brand power. The musically inclined kids know it, respect it, love it, acting like groupies every time they pass by one of the stores, immediately wanting to stop and head in to play around with some of the choice instruments -- they'll be back to buy, you can bet on it. Even if you're not technically a kid by chronological age, the kid in you wants to do the same thing nevertheless; it's the whole theory behind Disney
Although I don't own shares of the company, I do have it in an online paper portfolio that was meant to see how well I could use the Investor's Business Daily methodology of finding growth stocks. I think I did reasonably well; I got in at around $36 per share (including fantasy commissions). It closed yesterday at just under $47. Even though these are but paper profits, hopefully for actual investors, the company will have many encores left to play.
More rockin' Takes:
- Guitar Center rocks on.
- Will Virgin Digital take a bite out of Apple's
(NASDAQ:YHOO)finds a match in Musicmatch.
Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney.