Want to know how bad a day it's been for Build-A-Bear Workshops
According to a Reuters release, the analyst cited five main reasons that he remains cautious: the decision to shelve a secondary offering, the sell-off by private equity, expected weak second-quarter sales, the inability to get seasonal merchandise on the shelves, and concern that a top executive might leave.
Two concerns definitely hit the mark. Projected weaker sales for the second quarter is not a promising sign. I think expectations for the company were way too high coming out of the chute. The expectations and forecasting game is a slippery slope for companies and can lead to wild swings in stock prices. And no doubt about it, losing a talented executive could affect the future because great managers are hard to find.
Two of the other comments have me scratching my head a bit. Shelving the secondary offering could be a good thing because it may mean that the company does not need the extra capital right now. However, management's explanation that the offering was not completed because "there was too much work to be done" does not exactly inspire confidence. The seasonal-merchandise comment, as reported by Reuters, is also confusing. If the shortfall in the second quarter was due to not having merchandise ready for Easter and spring break sales, that seems like an execution issue that management needs to address right away.
The sell-off by a private-equity investor is surely a concern. Pre-IPO investors take on additional risk by investing very early and look to the IPO as their way to get paid for taking that risk. Investors have to account for these investors selling early in the life cycle of a public company. You don't always know when they will sell, but they will likely sell early. I believe this same thing has pushed shares of Cabela's
As I have said before, Build-A-Bear has an impressive business model and a stronger following than I anticipated. The store in my area continues to be packed with customers. The thing that has always bugged me has been the stock price. But at today's prices, you may be getting a good value for a true innovator in retail-tainment.
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