With sales going nowhere at consumer electronics retailer
, the company is resorting to cost-cutting to improve its bottom line.
The company announced a wide-ranging restructuring plan Wednesday that includes closing money-losing stores and discontinuing some products, such as car stereos and pagers. Investors, however, reacted with a collective yawn; shares were lately off just 4 cents at $29.85.
The company said it will close 35 stores that bleed cash, and take $124 million in charges in the fourth quarter. The charges stem from the store closings and inventory writedowns. Radio Shack said the charges will slice about 50 cents a share from the company's fourth-quarter earnings but will not affect its forecast of 66 cents a share in earnings from continuing operations. The company also plans to sell its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, and move into more cost-efficient offices in the same city in 2004.
"A new headquarters will be extremely beneficial to our company, both financially and culturally, while helping us attain our vision of being the most admired growth company in America," said Leonard Roberts, chairman and chief executive, in a statement.
That vision doesn't seem likely to materialize anytime soon. The company has already issued two earnings warnings this year, and its long-term growth rate stands at between 13% and 15% annually. Yet earlier this year, Wall Street had expected roughly 18% annual growth, according to I/B/E/S. And its sales are slowing -- revenue this year is expected be roughly $1.55 billion, down from $1.58 billion last year.
Thus, there's not much to like about the stock, even if the restructuring plan is viewed as the right move.
"I think the moves make strategic sense," says Peter Benedict, who covers the company for CIBC World Markets. Still, he is not recommending the stock, which is off over 42% on the year. He has a hold rating on the stock, and his firm does not have an investment banking relationship with the company.
Benedict cites the company's valuation, which still appears expensive even after the fall in share price, as another negative. At recent levels, it trades near 20 times this fiscal year's estimated earnings, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.
"There may be some upside, but I wouldn't be pounding the table," Benedict says.