Hello Friends! It is late again and I just want to squeeze in a quick post. I mean if you guys weren't stopping by, then I wouldn't feel the NEED to post...but if somebody is going to read this stuff....well then somebody (me) is going to have to WRITE it!!! jk Anyway, as always, PLEASE do your own investigation of all of the stock information I write on this website as I am an AMATEUR investor, passionate at that, and you really need to check with your investment advisors to make sure that the investments discussed are appropriate, timely, and a good decision for you to make.
I came across Fisher Scientific (FSH) earlier today and really meant to post it earlier but one thing led to another...you know how that is! Anyhow, FSH had a nice day today in an otherwise mediocre market, closing at $58.60, up $2.06 (3.64%) on the day. According to the Yahoo "Profile", FSH "...serves science through more than 600,000 products and services that it offers to more than 350,000 customers located in approximately 145 countries." Yahoo goes to point out that Fisher "...primarily serves the scientific research, clinical-laboratory and safety markets." I do NOT own any shares or have any leveraged position in this stock.
What drove the stock higher, as is the case with most of our stocks this time of year, was an earnings report that was released after the market close yesterday. Sales for the first quarter 2004 ended March 31, 2004, increased 21% to $1.01 billion from $.83 billion the prior year. Even EXCLUDING the positive effects of the exchange rate, sales still came in with an 18% growth to $983.5 million. First quarter net income came in at $34.6 million or $.51/diluted share compared to a net loss of $(0.9) million or $(.02)/diluted hsare in the first quarter of 2003.
Looking at the "5-Yr Restated" financials from Morningstar.com, we can see that revenue has grown steadily from $2.5 billion in 1999 to $3.6 billion in the trailing twelve months. Earnings have been a bit erratic but have grown from $.55/share in 1999 to $1.29/share in the trailing twelve months.
Free cash flow has been solidly positive and slowly increasing with $119 million in 2001, $115 million in 2002, and $138 million in 2003.
Balance sheet-wise, FSH has $83.8 million in cash and $927.0 million in other current assets, enough to cover the $648.5 million in current liabilities AND make a dent in the $1.6 billion in long-term liabilities.
If we look at "Key Statistics" from Yahoo, we can see that the Market Cap is $3.74 billion. The trailing p/e is rich at 45.25, but the company is expected to continue its rather fast growth so the forward p/e (fye 31-Dec-05) is only 17.60. The PEG is at 1.40 which isn't bad and the price/sales is even nicer at 1.01.
There are 63.79 million shares outstanding with 58.00 million of them that float. Currently there are 7.58 million shares out short, representing 13.08% of the float, or 4.782 trading days. In my opinion, whenever we get over 1 or 2 trading days, the amount of the short interest becomes increasingly significant, as the risk of a 'short squeeze' increases.
No cash dividend is paid and the last stock split was a 5:1 reported on Yahoo in April, 1998.
How about technicals? Looking at a "Point and Figure" chart, we can see that FSH was trading sideways between 2001 and early 2003. Then in November, 2003, FSH broke through a resistance level at about $32 and has traded higher rather strongly since.
What do I think? I actually like this stock a lot. The p/e isn't too bad in light of the growth, and the PEG is reasonable. They are cash flow positive with a solid balance sheet. The only thing holding me back (lol) is the fact that I DON'T have any CASH!!! My account is in margin in a correcting market, and I am in the "raise cash" mode....at least insofar as new investments are concerned. I will wait until I sell a portion at a nice gain before adding another position.
Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting. If you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement, PLEASE feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org