Yesterday's quarterly report out of Smith & Wollensky
It's not going to drive bids higher or lower. Landry's and Patina both know that Smith & Wollensky is available because it's a broken company. The upscale steakhouse went public six years ago at $8.50 per share, and has spent its time under the shadows of single-digit prices.
A lack of consistent profitability has kept the shares in check. Expansion has also been slow. Smith & Wollensky watches over just 13 restaurants, lapped by rival upscale steakhouses like Ruth's Chris
A good report wouldn't sway the suitors to bid much more, while a bad report would only make Smith & Wollensky that much more alluring as a turnaround situation.
So how did the numbers stack up last night? Not too bad for a supposedly broken company. Revenues rose 7.5% higher to hit $36.2 million. Concept popularity was strong, with comps up a respectable 3.9%. The company did post a loss of $0.40 per share, but that was after a laundry list of asset impairment charges. Back that out, and adjusted profitability would have chimed in at $0.27 a share.
If you're Landry's or Patina, that's just the kind of report that you want to see. It was a good report, but not so blazingly spectacular as to make Smith & Wollensky feel as if it should stay the course and remain independent.
There is potential in Smith & Wollensky under new management. The concept is sound and popular. Comps have risen throughout the lackluster trading. Cost management has been spotty, and that's where a seasoned player will serve Smith & Wollensky well.
It's no surprise that mass-market casual steakhouse chains like RARE, Lone Star Steakhouse, and OSI Restaurant Partners
So choose your suitor Foolishly, Smith & Wollensky. It's a pity that you cancelled yesterday's conference call, but we know the drill. It's just not polite to see the bride on the eve of her wedding.
For more prime cuts on these steakhouses, check out:
Outback Steakhouse parent OSI Restaurant Partners is an Inside Value recommendation.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is always on the lookout for a good steakhouse and thankfully has plenty -- including a Smith & Wollensky -- in Miami. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.