This morning's fourth-quarter report showed enough big-screen moxie to lift Daktronics shares by 13% in pre-market trading. Even so, valuation concerns are evaporating like shallow pool water on a summer day in Florida. Back in February, Fellow Fool Brian Pacampara recently pointed out that the enterprise value stood at an unreasonable 30 times trailing EBITDA, but that ratio now sits at a much more reasonable 11.1.
This jump didn't entirely erase three months of bad mojo. After all, Daktronics made good on its ominous projection of sales being lower than consensus estimates. However, analysts had interpreted that guidance to mean something like $106 million, so the final tally of $114 million was a pleasant surprise.
Sporting arenas led the way, with large orders from baseball and basketball venues, but commercial screens also posted 14% year-over-year growth. Some of the eyeball-grabbers you see around Times Square come from Daktronics, you know.
All told, the large-format scoreboard and information-display specialist swung to a $0.07 GAAP profit per share after reporting a loss in the year-ago quarter. Daktronics' model of collecting a large paycheck on a relatively small number of orders leads to lumpy results and uncertain quarterly timing.
Nonetheless, it's a strong business over the long term, with few real competitors in the North American market. On a global level, Daktronics contends with big-name rivals Mitsubishi Electric, Panasonic
This former Stock Advisor recommendation also sees "an increasing level of interest" in its architectural lighting products and IPTV information displays. To see how these ambitions play out over coming quarters and years, add Daktronics to My Watchlist. It's the best way to stay on top of intriguing stocks without taking a real-money plunge. An informed investor is a successful investor.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.