Last year the Q1 dividend was declared on March 7th and the company said this:
"Starting this year the Company decided to push out its first dividend announcement of the year from February into March in order to coincide with the completion of its financial audit. The timing of the actual payment of this dividend will continue to be in April".
I would expect a similar schedule for the announcement and payment this year. Since the dividend was just raised in Q4, I don't expect any increase or special until later in the year.
The enterprise value of any company is the market value (number of shares x price) plus debt, less cash. When the cash on the balance sheet exceeds the debt, the enterprise value will be less than the market cap. This is a good thing, not evidence that a stock is fully valued (though it could be, but not for that reason).
Nor is paying a decent dividend a bar to a stock being a growth stock. It is a bonus. Amnf has absolutely been a growth stock based on its earnings growth over many years. Just the recently announced quarter was up 30% in terms of E.P.S.
I own 162K shares bought starting in 2005. I trade around the edges, but have never substantially reduced my holdings and have no plans to do so now (the large embedded gains are a disincentive to sell, but if I thought the stock had no upside it wouldn't stop me).. I strongly disagree with those who believe that the stock is fully valued. There are at least two scenarios that would make the stock go much higher quickly. One would be an announcement that the company is gradually going to expand its geographic reach. There is nothing unique to California. The success there can be exported, at a measured pace. The other is a buyout. Both of these are serious possibilities. In the meantime, if they can continue to grow earnings at 15-20%, the stock can easily go up to the 2.50 level In the next year as was predicted in a blog referenced here a week or two ago. It is called Financial Acceleration, I believe.
For those of us who have been with Pnra since the late 90s when the old ABPCA was in single digits, it is not at all surprising that Ron Shaich has a lot in the bank with analysts. He has been brilliant in selling the mediocre Au Bon Pain to focus on a 25 restaurant acquisition with St..Louis Bread, recognizing before anybody how fast casual in the suburbs could be huge. There have been few disappointments over the years (an attempt at selling pizza was a failure, for a time the love by many of Atkins seemed to be a threat to selling bread and pastries, and a few other relatively minor ones). By in large Pnra has had huge growth over the past 15 years and has done it with a pristine balance sheet. It is an extraordinary achievement. If bad weather and through-put problems slow the growth for a few quarters, so be it. The investment community knows that Pnra is a winner and will be back huge before long. I have watched numerous shorts over the years losing a fortune. For a short time, a few have made money, but long term if one had to put a stock away and not trade it for ten years, there are few better candidates than Pnra.
I was not able to find the products you list on the cited web site.
However, on the Amnf web site home page they list Bolognese sauce and Alfredo sauce as "new". Plus, if you click on Food Service Products and each of the categories on the left, there appear to be many products that I don't recall seeing the last I looked which was maybe a year ago. These include such items as butternut squash ravioli, jumbo wild mushroom ravioli and southwest chipotle pesto sauce, among quite a few others.
I don't think comparisons to 2011 and 2012 in terms of its own PE are very meaningful. The stock is better known today with significant institutional ownership which has made the company much more attractive than the typical pink sheet stock, a problem that I think held it back a few years ago, especially when it traded at less than $1. Plus, the entire market has had a significantly higher PE than 2 or 3 years ago. Most important, years of consistent earnings growth, actually accelerating in 2013 even with your conservative Q4 estimate, gives rise to more confidence in future results. Confidence in earnings results in a higher PE.
Somebody looking at Ammf as a potential investment, is more likely to compare it to other consumer staples companies and note the superior growth rate and dividend that Amnf has as reasons not to consider the PE excessive when it is comparable to or below that of other consumer staples companies. If Amnf can earn even only .115 this year, and my guess is that they can do better, the forward PE at 2.10 would be a tad above 18. I don't find that at all unreasonable. Any evidence that new products will add to earnings would be a bonus and make the stock go even higher. The fact that it was quite unknown and trading at a ridiculously low PE two years ago, is not likely to deter investors going forward in my view.
I think that you are setting too high a bar. Last year's Q4 was .020, a 33% increase from the prior year. If they report at least .025, I think the stock will at least hold the 2.00 level and more likely go to 2.05-2.10.. You can't compare the PE of Amnf to that of the large food stocks like General Mills or Campbell's Soup which are growing EPS at 8% at most. Amnf is growing much faster, pays a higher dividend with a potential for a special, plus it should trade with a premium for a possible sale of the company, not a reasonable possibility with the large companies. . Note, too, that Q4 is not a seasonally strong quarter. Somebody here once analyzed the various quarters over a period of years and demonstrated that. So the fact that they earned .028 in seasonally strong Q3 doesn't mean that they have to do better than that for Q4 in order for it to be a strong quarter. The comparison is properly made with Q4 of 2012 which, as noted, was .020.
Last year, earnings were announced on February 15th. I expect earnings to be announced near that date again. . Many companies take longer to announce end of year results compared to other quarters,
Since February 15th is a Saturday and Amnf seems to like Thursday (and to a lesser extent) Friday announcements), I would bet on the most likely dates being 2/13. 2/14, 2/20 and 2/21 in decreasing order of likelihood.
The author is a serious money manager and has over 50K followers on Seeking Alpha who will see this list of only 11 stocks, including amnf, This is great publicity.