Less is more. That's long been Playboy Enterprises'
Today, the media legend announced that it expects higher earnings for the coming year, in a range of $0.54 to $0.59 per share, owing to some debt restructuring that was introduced yesterday.
The market's reaction was muted, considering that the upgrade amounts to a 32% increase in the earnings target. Clearly, investors were already expecting benefits of ongoing debt paydowns. I also have to guess that the big yawn is owed to the fact that the firm already trades at about 23 times that earnings estimate. That may look like major growth, considering that last year's earnings -- disregarding some one-time benefits -- came to $0.12 per share. But management's slimmer, 6% guidance for revenue growth may be the anchor.
So, while I can understand the near-100% gain for the last six months, frankly, I have trouble getting all hot and bothered by what's going on at America's most famous nudie empire. Earnings for 2004 were really about as sexy as granny's drawers.
A quick glance at the past shows that Playboy's revenues, earnings, and free cash flow grow slowly when they grow at all. So while the near-term outlook seems sunny enough, take a peek at these curves and remember that beauty is fleeting.
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Seth Jayson knows where most guys hide their nudie mags -- check under that bottom drawer -- but at the time of publication, he had no positions in any company mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.