Motley Fool Hidden Gems
selection CEC Entertainment's
The mixture sounds kind of strange, doesn't it? And it is. But it's this kind of quirky Elvis Presley-esque mouse on a stage that attracts children, children, and yes, more children. While the kiddies continued to be lured through the door by more than cheesy pizzas, look through its latest results, and something smells like a mousetrap.
For the first quarter of its fiscal 2005, the company's revenues were $214.1 million -- a mere 3.4% higher from the same period a year ago. Even more disappointing, its marginal sales growth is attributed to new store openings, rather than any contributions from same-store improvements; comparable same-store sales for the period declined 1.8%. CEC blamed much of this decrease on the "shift of the seasonally strong first week of the year into the fiscal fourth quarter of 2004."
The company was able to maintain consistent operating margins with a level of 24.4% for the year. The end result is its earnings that improved by not much more than a mouse's whisker to $32.3 million, or 2.9% higher.
And where mouse whiskers are found, so too can mousetraps be hidden. CEC expects to earn in a range of $2.33 to $2.38 per share for 2005, giving the enterprise a pricey current-year price-to-earnings ratio of 15.
Chuck E. Cheese is a great place to seek calm and unwind. OK, not really. But it is a fun place for kids. However, as unique as its concept is, there are simply not enough reasons to stick your investing whiskers in this high-priced mousetrap. Be a patient mouse, and wait for a better-priced piece of this cheese.
Are you looking for other pizza investments, but without the big rat and flashing lights? Check out the following slices of Foolish analysis:
Fool contributor Jeremy MacNealy is a pizza fanatic; the delicacy has become a permanent fixture of his diet. However, just as he has not acquired a taste for the abovementioned pies, so too has he no taste for their respective stocks -- he does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.