What is a brand name worth? When it enters the common vocabulary, it is extremely valuable.
How many husbands, wanting to please their wives, specifically buy Kleenex from Kimberly-Clark
Along the same lines, I was amused recently when I read that a child, when her mother asked where the girl's brother was, responded: "Who do you think I am, LoJack?"
I have written aboutLoJack
Yesterday, the company reported that revenue and earnings for calendar year 2004 increased by 16% and 37%, respectively, over 2003. In the fourth quarter, revenue increased 20%, and earnings moved ahead 26%. Gross margins, which were under pressure, increased 4 percentage points over last year's fourth quarter to a strong 53%.
LoJack sales are being bolstered by a new early-warning system that will notify by phone, pager, or email when a vehicle is being moved without permission. Last month's announcement of a recovery system for motorcycles should also boost upcoming sales. With motorcycle thefts increasing 55% from 2002 to 2003, and motorcycle sales booming, that's a logical extension of the company's product line. And to save money, the company is having Motorola
LoJack's regular offering isn't just for cars, either. Fleet operators with expensive big rigs and cargo-filled trailers are a big opportunity for the company, as is construction equipment.
Cash-rich LoJack recently used some of that money (and stock, too) to acquire Boomerang Tracking, the leading company in Canada for stolen-vehicle recovery -- and the company expects this acquisition to add to earnings this year.
Speaking of 2005, company guidance is for a 20% increase in revenue and a 30% increase in earnings -- all of which would work out to $0.83 a share in the perhaps unlikely event that share count stays flat. That's robust growth, and for a very reasonable 17.5 forward P/E, you get solid growth, a strong balance sheet, and excellent brand identity.
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Fool contributor W.D. Crotty does not own stock in the any of the companies, although he wishes he'd been holding LoJack over the past few years. Click here to see the Motley Fool's disclosure policy.