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Tuesday, 30 September 2003
September 30, 2003 AnnTaylor Stores Corp. (ANN)
I was away from the computer and thus the market for most of the day. This afternoon, looking through the tables, I did not think I would find any new stocks to post...but like most days, if I look carefully enough, I usually can fine one new one. Today I noticed AnnTaylor Stores (ANN). I do not own any shares of ANN but did like what I saw today. ANN closed today at $32.14, up $1.15 or 3.71%.

According to Money.cnn.com, AnnTaylor Stores "..is a specialty retailer of women's apparel, shoes and accessories."

About a month ago, on August 13, 2003, per PRNewswire as reported on NYTimes on the Web, ANN reported their second quarter, 2003, results for the period ending August 2, 2003. Total net sales for the quarter were $390 million up 13.7% from $343 million last year. Comparable store sales for the quarter increased 5.3% compared to a (0.2%) decrease for comparable store sales in the same quarter of 2002. Net income for the quarter was $21.2 million or $.45/diluted share vs. $18.2 million or $.39/diluted share in the second quarter of fiscal 2002.

One of my key indicators for retail stocks is the so called same store sales figure. This number reports the sales results for stores or retail outlets open at least a year. This is important because this gives you a more accurate picture on the sustainability of revenue growth, that is, whether the sales growth is due to just opening more NEW stores or whether the old stores (open at least a year) are showing gains when compared to their prior year sales. Anyhow, looking through the news we find the latest results on ANN, reported on 9/4/03, through PRNewswire-FirstCall on NYTimes on the Web: same store sales for the four wee period ended 8/30/03 increase 18.0%, while comparable store sales were up a solid 8.2% (even better than the results reported above for the preceding second quarter!).

Reviewing the tables in Morningstar.com, we find that revenue growth has been steady the past 5 years from $.9 Billion in 1999, $1.1 billion in 2000, $1.2 billion in 2001, $1.3 billion in 2002, and $1.38 billion in 2003.

Free cash flow has improved recently from ($6) million in 2001, ($5) million in 2002 and $114 million in 2003 with $74 million in the trailing twelve months.

ANN, per Morningstar.com, has $188.3 million in cash and $270.8 million in other current assets easily covering both the $141.2 million in current liabilities and $148.6 million in long-term liabilities combined.

Ann Taylor has a market cap of $1.45 Billion. the trailing p/e is reasonable at 18.02. The PEG ratio is right at 1.00, and the price/sales is also reasonable at 0.97. There are 45.09 million shares outstanding and 44.60 million of them that float. 2.14 million of shares are out short representing 2.444 days of trading. No dividend is paid. the last stock split was a 3 for 2 split on 5/21/02.

I do like this stock a lot. This company has a steady track record with a lot of GARP. (Growth at a reasonable price). Recently, their same store sales figures have been strong and this often precedes a nice price appreciation (vis a vis URBN). The p/e is under 20, the PEG ratio is right at 1.0 and the price/sales is under 1.0. The assets outweight the liabilities. What is there NOT to like. If I just had a little cash, this would be where I would put it to work!

Thanks for stopping by!

Bob





Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 5:22 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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