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Saturday, 21 February 2004
February 21, 2004 UniFirst Corp (UNF)
Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by. It is WAY too late to be up typing away at my computer posting another entry on my BLOG...but has that ever stopped me before? As ALWAYS, please remember to do your own due diligence on all of the stocks discussed on this website...and quite frankly on ALL websites...and use your financial advisor as frequently as you need!

Anyhow, before I fall asleep at the keyboard, I wanted to post one stock from yesterday...yikes it is past midnight...a stock that performed well and looks interesting from my perspective. UniFirst Corp (UNF) closed at $26.83 on the day, up $.71 or 2.72%. That was enough (!) to make the list of best gainers. I do not own any shares of UNF.

According to the money.cnn.com "snapshot", UNF "...is a provider of workplace uniforms and protective clothing. UNF rents, manufactures and sells a wide range of uniforms and protective clothing, including shirts, pants, jackets, coveralls, jumpsuits, lab coats, smocks and aprons."

On January 12, 2004, UNF announced first quarter 2004 earnings results for the quarter ended November 29, 2003. Revenues for the latest quarter were $180.9 million, a 21.3% increase from the $149.2 million in the prior year. (The news story noted that acquisitions accounted for 16.3% of the revenue growth.) Net income increased 48.3% from $6.4 million or $.33/share in 2003 to $9.5 million or $.50/share in 2004.

If we check "5-Yr Restated" Financials on Morningstar.com, we see a beautiful, steady growth in revenue from $487 million in 1999, $529 million in 2000, $556 million in 2001, $579 million in 2002, and $597 million in 2003 with $629 million in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings per share dipped slightly in 2000 from $1.18 in 1999 to $1.01 in 2000, then have increased steadily from $1.20 in 2000 to $1.56 in the trailing twelve months.

Free cash flow has been positive if a bit erratic from $42 million in 2001, $19 million in 2002, $23 million in 2003 and $28 million in the trailing twelve months.

The balance sheet is o.k. with $8.0 million in cash and $184.1 million in other current assets vs. $112.8 million in current liabilities and $271.7 million in long-term debt.

Checking the "Key Statistics" on Yahoo.com, we see that the market cap is $514.76 million. The trailing p/e is reasonable at 17.11, with a forward p/e (fye 30-Aug-05) at 15.16. TDhe PEG is nice at 1.14, and price/sales downright cheap at 0.80. Whenever the price/sales or PEG hits 1.0 or less, it appears to me that the stock is "reasonably" priced.

UNF has 19.19 million shares outstanding with 16.10 million of them that float. There are only 47,000 shares out short, representing 0.29% of the float or 1.175 trading days.

The stock DOES pay a small annual dividend of $.15 yielding 0.57%. The last stock split was a 2:1 split as of 1/20/04.

Looking a little at the 'technical' aspects of this issue, I like to check the free point and figure chart on UNF. Without claiming to be a technician, this stock broke down breaking through a support level in early 2003, and since that time has been heading higher quite consistently.

As you know, I have promised NOT to buy any additional stocks until I sell something at a gain! Therefore, I will hold off adding to my portfolio which is now down to 22 positions...otherwise, I find this stock intriguing, both on a valuation basis as well as the growth record.

Thanks so much for stopping by! As always, if you have any questions, comments or words of encouragement, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 12:32 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink

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