If there's one thing the market hates more than a company mired in both an earnings slide and an SEC investigation, it's a company that declines to give forward guidance and refuses to answer questions on its conference call. Combine all of these sins under one roof, and you have the situation at Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation KrispyKreme
For starters, the doughnut maker missed earnings by $0.09. That's a big whiff when the expectation -- before restructuring costs -- was only $0.13 to begin with. There are plenty of ways to slice and dice the numbers, and things look bad no matter how you do it. Top-line revenues of $170 million were just above flat, notching a slim 1.4% advance. But the gain was owed to new stores.
Operating profits took a major hit, and though much of it looks like it was due to $3 million spent on litigation, the firm warned that the future will bring more of the same. Combined with charges for discontinued operations, the final hurt was -$0.05 per share. For shareholders who remember last year's $0.23 per share in earnings, the news was probably about as welcome as a low-carb doughnut or that ridiculous doughnut-flavored beverage.
A couple of months back, Fool Krispy Kreme bear Bill Mann offered a recipe for saving the firm that included common-sense solutions such as slowing growth down and improving profitability through concentrating on locations very likely to succeed. It's tough to tell whether there's been any improvement along those lines.
Failures in key metrics, such as the 17% drop in sales per week at existing stores, indicate major problems for those who believe in future growth. And while we now know that this is not the next Starbucks
It's tough enough to face major operational problems, an SEC inquiry, or a sales slump alone. But doing all of this at one time is Krispy Kreme's current curse, and to judge by management's new refusal to peer into the future, investors should expect things to get worse before they get better.
For related Foolishness:
- Is Krispy Kreme really worthless?
- Long and strong, or is this thing fried beyond recognition?
- Forget the hole in your cup, and concentrate on that doughnut.
- Think the SEC just wanted something hot and sugary?
Seth Jayson loves a hot doughnut, but he's awfully glad he didn't partake of Krispy Kreme's hot stock. At the time of publication, he had positions in no firm mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.