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Helen of Troy Limited Message Board

  • jhsudesign jhsudesign Feb 27, 2012 3:55 AM Flag

    2013 EPS

    est. at 3.9
    at PE=15 give HELE=58

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    • Before you fall in love with the company, I have followed HELE since 1997 and I am providing the following opinion:

      HELE has often been an apparent undervalued over much of this period. Reasons include:

      1) Poor corporate governance - down right awful. BOD consists of Jerry, his wife, brother and hand-picked cronies. This has resulted in obscene compensation that is not in line with revenues, performance etc. In short, this will never be a mini PG.
      2) From time-to-time, earnings suddenly decrease or increase alot without any management info/warning. Over the years the explanations are relatively poor and management seems to be in a reactive mode well after they decline (need more proactive).

      Now, aside from the above issues, the company has generally been managed with solid cash flow most years. HELE has a good track-record of integrating new brands etc. in an accretive manner, except when those acquisitions are related to Jerry's bonus (i.e. minimum revenues). The stock has been stuck in the $30's or lower since the OXO acquistion which was made at a huge premium and enabled Jerry to make his obscene bonus. OXO is a good contributor today, but it came at a huge cost.

      I can't profess to know what the future holds with HELE. I would not make HELE a cornerstone of my portfolio. But, at the right price, it could be a portion of a long-term portfolio. A patient investor might see the day when this company is sold at a premium and Jerry retires or is fired. One can only hope.

    • douglas_james_pedersen douglas_james_pedersen Mar 16, 2012 10:07 PM Flag

      Well, I like your EPS estimate, but I think a P/E of 15 will be tougher than you think.

      Still a P/E of 12 lands the stock above $45 and this seems reasonable to me.

      Danger is that most of the growth is through acquisitions, and while management has shown itself pretty good at these, it only takes one spectacular failure to ruin years of brilliant dealmaking. Just ask Bank of America about Countrywide...

      Plus I am not 100 pct sure that Rubin's comp is really aligned with shareholders' interests

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