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Mannie, Moe and Slack?

Stocks in this article: PBY

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Today will likely be a difficult trading day for auto-repair company Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack (PBY), which put up worse-than-expected third-quarter numbers following yesterday's market close.

Revenue, expected to be $540 million, came in at $525.7 million, and earnings per share of 10 cents were below the 19 cent consensus estimate. Shares fell 7% in after-hours trading.

It's been a difficult couple of years for this company, which at times has appeared to be attractive as a value play. Pep Boys exchanged hands for more than $35 a share back in 1996, and it has been a roller-coaster ride ever since.

The company long paid cash dividends, but that ended in 2012. The same year, the company was set to be acquired by Gores Group for $15 a share, which I believed at the time to be a steal for Gores. But the following May, Gores got cold feet; scared by Pep Boys operating performance, and walked away from the deal. In turn, Pep Boys walked away from that broken deal with a $50 million breakup fee, which allowed it to reduce debt to the $200 million range where it now stands. PBY Chart PBY data by YCharts

With headquarters in Philadelphia, Pep Boys is a well-known regional player in the auto-repair and auto-parts retail sector, with 750 locations in 35 states and Puerto Rico. The heaviest concentration of stores is in California (131), Florida (91), Texas (57), Pennsylvania (55), Georgia (49), New Jersey (40), Alabama (38), New York (37), and Illinois (35), with those eight states representing more than 70% of total stores. I've frequented our local Pep Boys often over the years, and it is one of the few places that will accept used motor oil from those of us weekend grease monkeys who still enjoy changing our own oil.

From a value perspective, one of the company's compelling factors has been its owned real estate. At year-end 2012, Pep Boys owned 232 locations, a 300,000 square-foot corporate headquarters and more than 1.4 million square feet of warehouse space in Georgia, Texas, Indiana, and New York.

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