J. Crew: Swot

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Melnikovana
Words 1805
Pages 8
Trying on the numbers
A quick check of J. Crew's first-quarter press release (these numbers are also released in the S-1 registration statement) shows some heartening signs. Net income came in at $5 million, compared with a net loss of $24 million this time last year. Same-store sales increased a whopping 37%, while consolidated revenues increased 45% to $211 million. Of course, same-store sales can indeed sound astonishing when a company is up against an easy comparison to last year, and that's definitely the case here -- comps increased a mere 4% during the same quarter last year.

The financials also reveal that aforementioned long-term debt -- $590 million, as of the first quarter. J. Crew has 24 more times more debt than its mere $25 million in cash. Indeed, the company's risk factors in its annual SEC filing specifically contain the following warning: "We may be substantially more leveraged than certain of our competitors, which may place us at a competitive disadvantage." In its filing, the company said that paying off some of its debt is its primary reason for going public.

J. Crew hasn't had a profitable year since its flush 2001, which has become the benchmark for many of the metrics we've shared here. Although revenues for the most recent fiscal year increased 17% to $804 million, that still hasn't matched 2001's $826 million in sales.

Needless to say, J. Crew's earnings power has been hindered by its large debt load. That's why the company's fourth-quarter refinancing makes sense, even if it resulted in a huge $50 million prepayment fee. On the other hand, being allowed to refinance its debt shows that the company's on the mend -- its means lending institutions have more confidence in J. Crew. The company said the refinancing will save it $16 million in interest expense this year.

In another bright spot, J. Crew has obviously learned how to…...

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