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Thursday, 31 July 2003
July 31, 2003 Chico's FAS, Inc. (CHS)
How about this for a change....from National Security and Defense to women's clothing? I have followed Chico's for some time in my 'peripheral vision' but do not currently own any shares. The stock looks EXCELLENT though and should be considered for investment purposes!

Chico's is having a great day in the market trading at $27.22 up $1.68 on the day or 6.61%. (The rest of the market is doing quite well also...at least up to 11:00 CST).

They reported their same sales results for June which were quite good: overall sales increased 41.7% to $65.9 million from $46.5 million, and more importantly for a retail company, comparable sales for the company-owned stores increased 16.5% (!).

Yahoo.com describes Chico's as "...a specialty retailer of exclusively designed, private label, sophisticated, casual-to-dressy clothing, complementary accessories and other non-clothing gift items under the Chico's and Pazo brand names."

As of April 18, 2003, the company operated 401 retail stores in 41 states and the District of Columbia, with a significant concentration in California, Florida, Texas and the northeast United States.

Morningstar.com shows a BEAUTIFUL growth picture with revenues increasing from $75.3 million in 1998, $106.7 million in 1999, $155.0 million in 2000, $259.4 million in 2001, $378.1 million in 2002.

Free cash flow has been improving recently from ($1) million in 2001 to $28 million in 2002, and $44 million in 2003.

The company has lots of cash with $99.9 million reported on Morningstar.com, more than enough to pay off the current liabilities of $54.9 million and the $6.6 million in lon-term liabilities combined.

Yahoo reports that Chico's has a market cap of $2.19 Billion with 85.7 million shares outstanding and 77.0 million that float. The p/e is a bit steep at 31.49 and perhaps more revealing is the price/sales ratio of 3.88. A little expensive for this company but look at those growth figures!

Bullish for this stock is the huge short position of 20.6 million shares representing 26.8% of the float or 14.27 average days of trading. If the stock moves much higher, we may see a short squeeze.

The stock price is not cheap. In no ways is this a value investment, but the company is doing terrific and has been doing well for some time. I like the shares and certainly would consider investing in it if the opportunity should arise!

Regards again to all of my friends!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 11:27 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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