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Thursday, 21 August 2003
August 21, 2003 Lifeway Foods, Inc. (LWAY)
O.K. I hate doing this but I found this one this morning and jumped in with both feet first BEFORE I posted this note. So I AM an owner of 200 shares in my trading account and will update that account shortly.

Lifeway (LWAY)"...produces kefir, a drinkable product similar to yogurt sold under the name Lifeway's Kefir, a plain farmer's cheese sold under the name Lifeway's Farmer's Cheese, and a fruit sugar-flavored product similar to cream cheese sold under the name Sweet Kiss." (according to CNN.Money) (This is what I would call a 'wholesome' stock pick!)

Lifeway, as I write, is trading at $14.51 up $2.10 on the day or 16.91%. On August 14, 2003, as reported on NYTimes on the Web, Lifeway reported their second quarter 2003 earnings result. Revenues for the quarter ending June 30, 2003, were $3.78 million, up 25% from $3 million last year. Net income was $691,082 or $.16/share an increase of 96% compared to $351,656 or $.08/share last year.

Looking at Morningstar.com we find sequential growth in revenue of $6.0 million in 1997, $6.8 million in 1998, $7.9 million in 1999, $9.2 million in 2000, $10.7 million in 2001 and $12 million in 2002. Extrapolating the current quarter would get us something like $14 million in 2003.

Free cash flow, while small, is positive with $0 million in 2000, $1 million in 2001 and $3 million in 2002. Per Morningstar, $2 million in the trailing twelve months.

Looking at Assets/Liabilities we find Lifeway with $8.4 million in cash and $3.0 million in other current assets, easily covering the $1.1 million in current liabilities and $1.1 million in long term debt.

Looking at Yahoo, we find that LWAY is a TINY company with a market cap of $52.4 million. This is one of the smallest companies we have reviewed here with 4.22 million shares outstanding and only 1.10 million shares that float. No dividend is paid. Company is currently selling at a trailing p/e of 21.89 with a bit of a steep price/sales ratio of 3.95. As of 7/8/03, there are only 3,000 shares out short representing 0.3% of the float so forget about a short 'squeeze'.

I like this stock...except for its tiny size and the fact that Fidelity required 100% equity...that is, it is non-marginable. Good luck if you buy! Thanks for stopping by.

Bob


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