Why Smart Balance's Shares Jumped
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of specialty-food producer Smart Balance (NAS: SMBL) were looking tasty to investors today, as they boosted shares 12% after the company reported second-quarter results.
So what: It wasn't the second quarter that investors were worked up about at Smart Balance. Sales did manage to rise 29% from last year to $76 million, but that was still a bit short of analysts' expectations. Earnings per share (on an adjusted basis) fell to $0.05 from $0.07 last year, though they were in line with Wall Street's estimates.
The outlook, however, was another story. Looking ahead, the company said it now expects sales of between $360 million and $370 million for all of 2012, which is a substantial boost over its previous forecast and ahead of the $329 million Wall Street expected. For 2013, Smart Balance's management is looking for $440 million to $450 million in revenue, which is well beyond the current $350 million expectation from analysts.
Now what: As far as stocks go, the promise for Smart Balance is very much an "on the come" bet -- growth has been strong, but with investors valuing the company at around 40 times expected 2012 earnings, growth will have to continue to be strong to create a compelling return. Certainly, the company's 2012 forecast suggests that it's currently delivering that growth -- at the midpoint of the forecast range, the company would show 33% top-line growth for the full year.
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