Debt downgrade two notches and very critical commentary. Moody's doesn't think AVP have the liquidity needed to execute the operational turnaround plan they're talking about.
I haven't seen a filing that says somebody has recently gone north of 5%. Have you? Current 5% + holders are required to file when they increase positions, yes?
On any registration or filing for public share issuance which lists MDV as a major selling holder, those SEC filings need to come with a PUBLIC WARNING STATEMENT. FUEL should have never been brought public - this is a scam and borderline fraud.
We are thrilled MDV is still stuck with 22 million shares of this #$%$ - even after they pocketed north of $100 million, selling a pile at $60/share. We hope this POS goes to zero, and that MDV eats those shares. They deserve it for scamming retail investors with a BS "story" stock like this.
The call was cordial though crisp at points. Thought Sheri was quite deferential to Jim suggesting his role as CFO packs a potentially bigger mandate. AVP shut down any questions regarding strategic alternatives, and stated at the outset no questions on that topic would be entertained. So much for that.
Analysts were generally skeptical about FY guidance, with 3-4 of them focusing their one allowed query around questions centering on liquidity. One pondered about a dividend cut: no direct response, one asked about the new revolver covenants, one asked about capex cuts in view FCF is projected at only $100 million and whether there was simply enough money to accomplish needed improvements in product, rep recruitment, etc.
Analyst community is doubtful about the turnaround and clearly concerned that FY guidance can't be met. Sheri was a bit clipped by end of call and responses bordered on curt.
Not too good.
Well, the numbers are in and it ain't pretty.
Missed earnings significantly on adjusted basis posting $0.04 versus consensus of $0.07. They sorta hit the rev number rounding up to $1.8 Bil. North America continues to implode, but very worrisome light Latin America numbers. Very weak across the board and expecting share price to return to the $7's.
They put out a release about this ?!? For heaven's sake, get a basic PR strategy.
Local is a public co trading at 65 cents per share - 65 cents! They employee 65 people! GAWD! What's next? FUEL signs great deal with the corner deli to power their online ad campaigns.
Is he an actual "employee" of MDC Partners?
How does a "contractor" gain access to shareholder funds for these described and listed "personal" expenditures?
This is nonsense. What are you talking about? FUEL will post a Q1 operating loss of almost $40 million. That's a disaster. The accrued benefit on reduced comp/overheads, etc is generous, probably closer to $10MM, BUT the main point is that FUEL has NO earnings to forward project a PE.
A key issue here is whether FUEL can maintain revenue as they cut staff significantly and adjust to a series of exec mgmt changes. The far more relevant calculations include determining the revenue level needed for breakeven at the reduced staff levels, and what it will take to achieve that revenue. And even more importantly, how can this business scale? FUEL has been spending $1.30 in operating costs to achieve every $1.00 in NET revenue - this simply cannot continue.
FUEL is in trouble -- and that's why it's traded from $60 to $9.
There's an earnings announcement to get through.
Wall Street consensus for Q1 2015: $0.07 per share on revenue of $1.853 Billion. As reference, Q1 2014 showed $0.12 per share on $2.184 Billion. Wall Street already anticipating a 15% drop in revenue to kick off the earnings year.
Estimize is forecasting another miss to $0.06 and $1.821 topline. I wouldn't be surprised at all. In fact, I think AVP can miss badly - especially in North America. The difficult winter surely kept reps at home and the dollar has stayed super strong.
Any thoughts on a dividend cut - or suspension?
Why would a strategic buyer leave the growth markets behind? North America may not actually be fixable. The value is Brazil/Latin America and Eastern Europe.
Of course they have to say outperform - they were one of two IPO underwriters for FUEL. What else are they going to say? Yes, we were in cahoots with MDV, we got paid millions to run this POS through an IPO, we put on a great roadshow, and scammed retail, and we still think FUEL is going to "da moon."
So there it is. Which means there's no offer in hand, and earnings for 4/30 are probably a disaster.
So it's going to be shopped for a price. Agree that the BOD completely misplayed this. Still, I think they can get mid-teens for this. A fitting smack in the face after walking away from $24. Jerks.
When AVP originally announced this May 13 event on January 12, they also cancelled their presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of NY conference, scheduled for Feb 18-19.
Scully's hiring was announced January 28.
Knowing that they were finalizing Scully's deal during mid-January, AVP blew off CAGNY. All good. But when they announced the scheduling for the Annual Investor Day on January 12, they also knew Scully was on-boarding by about April 1.
"Mid-May" versus "Fall, 2015" -- that's pretty imprecise. Makes me wonder whether or nor there'll ever be an "Annual Investor Conference." That language and timing is off. Scully doesn't need 7-8 months to prep for a conference.
New Rocket Fuel Study Brings Science to Creative Design, Quantifies Design Impact on Ad Campaign Performance from 3/12.
You gotta be kidding me. This is what passes for high level, publishable research at FUEL?
They'll get laughed out of the room.
Yes. Very undervalued here. They've done a poor job on product innovation and seriously lag peers, contributes to top line declines. They haven't grown revenue in at least three years. Even in this strong dollar environment, and after AVP booked terrible spending decisions and fines, they still have OK cash flow.
Sure, things are going great.
Fuel spends $1.20 to achieve $1.00 in net revenue - and has done so for the last 3 years based on published financials.
Things are not good here at all. Probably best thing to do now is strip it for sale. That means tons of layoffs and streamlining and serious cost controls. If MDV can get out with a $15-$20 buyout, that's their 10X turn. And I don't think Zweben can get that done.
On an operating basis, for the past three years it takes FUEL $1.20 to achieve $1.00 net revenue. This is not a scale-able business as operated.
New CEO and new CFO within a 6 month period. The writing is on the wall, and we'll re - iterate: FUEL is not worth $350 million to anybody.
The new CFO said, we better start conserving the cash we have -- because we're gonna need it. And George said nope. And MDV said we own 20% of FUEL and we say conserve the cash -- cause we still have $120 million at stake at $10/share. See ya later Mr. George.
Yes. And COTY marketcap is 2.5X AVP's.
All of which suggests that AVP is really cheap on a comp basis. EL, LB, are different firms. Would really like to see a comp of P&G's combined beauty holdings (Cover Girl, Olay, etc.)
Yes. Coty offered $10 Billion, then upped it to $10.7 Billion in April/May 2012. The second higher offer was at 24.75/share, and Coty was backed in part by Warren Buffet. It's been all straight down since AVP said "no."
YHOO said 'no" to MSFT too: MSFT offered $31/share when YHOO was trading around $12 in 2008. YHOO said 'no" and foundered for years, going through many CEO's and returning zilch to shareholders. When Third Point arrived in 2012, the stock was at 13-14. It was Loeb who ushered in Marrisa Meyer there, and Third Point sold at $30 - gaining a profit of about $1.5 Billion on their original 13-d position. That took an activist like Loeb, and he foresaw the BABA IPO and balance sheet value to YHOO.
There's no similar catalyst here, or I don't see one. But as a PE or LBO play I think AVP is very tempting. Note there has been a ton of volume since the shares went south of $10 - shares are trading hands -- there are a lot of new longs here and I'm keeping an eye out for a fresh 13-D filing.