Ah, realignment -- the buzz word for cutting operating costs. For consumer goods company Playtex Products
The company is reporting mixed second-quarter results. Compared to the same quarter last year, sales fell 5% to $177 million and missed the average analyst estimate of $182.5 million. That's not good.
But once you factor out a number of one-time events, net income comes in at $0.14, which is two copper pennies more than analyst estimates, and four pennies higher than the year-ago period (net of adjustments). That's not so bad.
But sales were weak across the business lines. Infant care fell 5%, feminine care was flat, and skin care managed to be the standout with a 2% gain.
Offsetting sales weakness, as it pertains to cash flow, was the company's cash management. The average days of inventory on hand declined seven days, and the average days of sales outstanding were reduced by eight days. These items contributed notable improvements -- operating cash flow increased from $9 million to $23 million, and free cash flow from just under $2 million to approximately $20 million.
The Albatross around the neck of this company -- home to Banana Boat sun-care products -- is debt, which currently sits at $718.9 million. Interest payments took a whopping 53.5% bite out of this quarter's operating income.
Let's get to the punch line quickly. Analysts expect the company to earn $0.61 a share in 2006, pricing the stock at 17 times forward earnings. That is a rich valuation when you consider consumer product peers like Procter & Gamble
Playtex does, however, look good if you consider its projected five-year annual growth rate of 10%. While Procter & Gamble is expected to grow 11.0%, Kimberly-Clark and Unilever are projected to only grow earnings at 8% and 4.1% annually. But the five-year growth rate is hardly a guarantee -- especially when you consider Playtex's negative 17.8% annual reduction in earnings over the past five years. Yikes!
Bottom line: It's my opinion that the good news is out, and it is already priced into this stock.
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