Further, Mr. Telzrow says, while the venture could prove beneficial, the initial sign-up procedure for check-cashing customers takes too long at about 10 minutes. This raises questions about whether the machines are worth the cost, which he estimates at about $80,000 each. The company declined to confirm the cost. A concern that may darken investors' outlook is the company's ownership. About 65% of shares are held by IYG Holding, a Japanese company, the majority shareholder of which is the Japanese retailer Ito-Yokado. That partly explains why holdings by institutional investors, who often would like at least some say in a company's
direction, total only about 7%. To attract large investors, Mr. Telzrow suggests a reverse stock split, which would pump up the price by reducing shares outstanding. But other worries seem to be disintegrating, Mr. Telzrow says. Long-term debt at the end of the second quarter was $1.97 billion, 31% less than at the end of 1991 and none of it at an interest rate greater than 7%. As for earnings, Mr. Telzrow projects they'll hit 18 cents a diluted share for 1999, up from his 14-cent estimate for 1998. And for those looking for a cheap safe haven, he says, here's a sure indicator: Southland shares lost less than two cents Aug. 31, the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 500 points. "The stock was already down," he says. "Nobody knows it exists."
Mentges, Thanks for the excellent article--I`ve just begun my WSJ Online subscription--and that article was ferreted away in their Publications Library and I missed it! It confirms all my investigations using SLCM`s financial reports.If only the WSJ would put the info in the HOTS column. Bob