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Stock Picks Bob's Advice
Monday, 25 July 2005
A Reader Writes: "I want to ask u some questions about BEBE."
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting my blog, Stock Picks Bob's Advice. As always, please remember that I am an amateur investor, so please consult with your professional investment advisor prior to making any investment decisions based on information on this website.

Looking once again through my mailbox, I found that I had another question from a reader who wrote:
Hi Bob ,
I want to ask u some questions about BEBE .
I was reading ur article about bebe stores and i have some questions
for u .Do u know Bebe is using any debt what percantage of their
companys debt and equity because when i looked their balance sheet
in finance.yahoo it was written like N/A so i couldnt understand they
didnt write anything if u know anything about that can u mail me pls
cause it is important for my homework also the beta of the company is
1.75 means risky thanm they must use a debt dont u think pls reply me
as soon as possible thank u for ur helps from now . bye
Well first of all, thank you for writing and commenting on my post on BEBE. As I probably wrote then, and as I can tell you now, I don't at this time own any shares nor do I have any options on BEBE. Furthermore, I am not a financial analyst nor am I a professional advisor, but bear with me and I will share you my perspective on BEBE and their finances.

First of all I would encourage you to get familiar with Morningstar.com if you can. I do a quick financial assessment using that website that I found very easy and helpful. See if you can follow along with me.

The Morningstar.com "5-Yr Restated" financials shows first of all that the free cash flow for BEBE is excellent. That is, BEBE had $28 million in free cash flow in 2002, $27 million in 2003, increased it to $36 million in 2004 and it has grown to $69 million in the trailing twelve months. My simple understanding of free cash flow is that this amount is the actual dollars that are either accruing to the company or being consumed by business activities. This amount should drop down to the "cash" component of current assets if my thinking is correct. I know this is a bit of a crude assessment, but it is what I use.

Furthermore, on Morningstar, we can see that the company has $256.2 million in cash AND $53.4 million in other current assets. This is HUGE compared with the $49.8 million in current liabilities and the miniscule $28.9 million in long-term liabilities reported by Morningstar. I think their financial condition looks excellent.

As far as their "beta" is concerned, I found a nice definition here:
Beta is a measure of a stock’s price volatility relative to the overall market. It is most often calculated using a stock's movements relative to the S&P 500 Index over the trailing 12-month period.

A stock with a beta of 1.00 will tend to move higher and lower in tandem with the S&P 500. Securities with a beta greater than 1.00 tend to be more volatile than the S&P 500, and those with betas below 1.00 tend to be less volatile than the underlying index. Securities with betas of zero generally move independently of the overall market. And finally, stocks with negative betas tend to move in the opposite direction relative to the broader market. When the S&P tumbles, stocks with negative betas will move higher, and vice versa.
Thus, the beta is nothing more than a measurement of "volatility" of a stock price. It isn't a measure of fundamental risk or have anything directly due to the debt level. It just tells you how "sedate" or how "violent" the price swings of a stock have historically been!

Please let me know if that cleared everything up. My review of the Morningstar.com page, suggests that the financial health of this company BEBE looks quite good. Of course, my information is only as good as the website, but Morningstar.com has been a very helpful investing tool for me!

If you have any other comments or questions, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com.

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 8:48 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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