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Mark Krieger
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Mark Krieger is an avid stock market trader dedicated to the following ideals: (1) Focus on high relative strength, (2) Buy low, sell high (3) Short high, cover low, (4) Go against the crowd, (5) It's all about the rules and discipline- hold them dear (6) Analyze the balance sheet-seek low... More
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  • Luby's: Why Can't They Make Any Money?

    it is a bit perplexing that Luby's(NYSE:LUB)has so much trouble making money when it virtually does not have to pay any rent on 53% of its locations. In Fact in its last three year's, its EBITDA has fallen. In 2012, the company produced an EBITDA of $28.1 million, in 2013 its EBITDA fell 14% to $24.2 million. In 2014, its EBITDA was just $17.7 million, representing a 27% drop from its prior year. The company blames much of its woes to its Cheeseburger in Paradise purchase, but this excuse is getting old and worn out. Why not just pull up your big boy pants and make some painful cuts in your cost structure? get lean and mean again, so the top line will be able to filter down to the bottom line.

    All is not dark: there is a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.

    The combo units are working well. At the end of fiscal year 2015, there were 5 in operation which accounted for 4.5% of Luby's total sales. These stores average a whopping $88k per week in sales. As already stated, 2015 will bring one more combo unit to the fold when its Jackson, Mississippi unit is completed in Feb 2015.

    1st quarter results are due out near the middle of December. The Sidoti analyst has forecasted a 6 cent loss for the quarter with no sales forecast. Last year's 4th quarter generated sales of $87.3 million and a loss of 5 cents. Since it was revealed that its Fuddrucker's same store sales have turned positive for the first eight weeks of its first quarter, I think it is obvious that Luby's will beat this very conservative guidance. Look for a 2 cent loss on a 1% sales gain, to $88.2 million to be more like it.

    Disclosure: The author is long LUB.

    Tags: LUB
    Nov 26 8:38 AM | Link | 2 Comments
  • Fuel Systems Solutions Third Quarter Earnings Preview

    Fuel Systems Solutions (NASDAQ:FSYS) is set to release its third quarter results this Thursday November 6th, before the market opens. Analysts expect the company to lose 10 cents on sales of $86.50 million. Sales are expected to drop 11.40% from last years $97.6 million mark. Earnings last year for the third quarter were 5 cents.

    In its 2nd quarter press release, the company's guidance for 2014 was sales of $335 million to $355 million and EBITDA of $4- 8 million.

    Look for FSYS to lose 11 cents on sales of $85 million, but slightly increase its 2014 revenue range from $335 - $350, to $340 -$355 on a better than expected fourth quarter.

    The news will likely have little impact on the share price, other than a possible catalyst for some to book profits after last week's incredible 15% rise from its lows. The worst case scenario: we could see as much as a 50% retracement of recent gains.

    On another note: The fact that Becker Drapkin's Steve Becker has been appointed as a FSYS board member can be construed as a positive for the stock price. He might push for short term fixes, such as financial engineering ( stock buybacks, etc.) After all, he has plenty of incentive to get the stock price up, as he owns nearly 10%. He wants to be paid for his troubles and risk.

    Disclosure: The author is long FSYS.

    Tags: FSYS
    Nov 01 3:43 PM | Link | 3 Comments
  • Luby's 4th Q Earnings Preview

    Luby's (NYSE:LUB): will announce its 4th Q results, no later than Monday, Nov 17th. A press release should be coming out momentarily announcing the specific release date. Last year they filed their 8k on 11/7 regarding their 4th q earnings.

    what we can expect: look for total restaurant sales of $120 million and culinary/franchise fees of $7 million. Earnings should be 3 cents. The Sidoti Analyst, James Fronda (the only research coverage luby's has) forecasted earnings of 2 cents, void of a sales forecast. Note: The 4thquarter contains an extra 4 weeks in it (16 weeks versus 12 weeks).

    Same store sales for the quarter will be up .25%

    total sales for the year of $400 million will be 2.6% higher than last years sales of $390 million. The company's earnings will be a loss of $1.2 million versus earnings of $3.3 million.

    Guidance for fiscal year 2015, will show restaurant sales of $365 to $375 million with a same stores sales range of -.5% to .25%

    In summation, expectations are quite low, and LUB could easily surpass them. It is quite apparent that the recent implosion in the share price more than reflects lackluster results on deck.

    Disclosure: The author is long LUB.

    Tags: LUB
    Nov 01 11:50 AM | Link | 6 Comments
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