Tempur-Pedic Wakes Up Hung Over

Meena is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Editor's Note: Tempur-Pedic released its Q3 results on Oct. 23. It reported EPS of $0.70, GAAP EPS of $(0.03), and further lowered 2012 EPS guidance to $2.55.

Tempur-Pedic (NYSE: TPX) is down about 20% today after the company reduced its guidance for 2012 earnings per share from $2.80- which had been essentially in line with analyst consensus- to $2.55. Given that the company reported $1.31 in earnings per share for the first half of the year in its second quarter 10-Q, this means that its internal expectations of EPS for the second half of the year have dropped from $1.49 to $1.24- a 17% decrease, essentially in line with the stock’s reaction to the news. Tempur-Pedic, which is planning to close its acquisition of fellow mattress company Sealy  (NYSE: ZZ) next year, is now down 53% year to date after peaking in mid-April (which capped a roughly 1,000% gain from the beginning of April 2009).

The second quarter of the year saw a modest decline in Tempur-Pedic’s sales, with revenue falling 4% compared to the same period a year earlier. However, costs were up- cost of sales, selling and marketing expenses, and general and administrative expenses all came in higher in absolute figures- pulling net income down by 45%. Even with significant buybacks- which clearly did not pay off for the company- earnings per share for the quarter were only $0.45 versus $0.76 in the second quarter of 2011. At a market capitalization of $1.5 billion, Tempur-Pedic trades at a P/E of 8 on either a trailing or a forward basis. We’re certainly concerned about its recent poor performance, but if it can even slow the decline for a while it may turn out to be a good value stock to buy in a few months.

John Shapiro’s value investing fund Chieftain Capital had Tempur-Pedic as one of the five largest holdings in its 13F portfolio at the end of June. Chieftain had increased its stake by 61% to a total of 6.3 million shares at that time (find more stocks that Chieftain owned). Nantahala Capital Management, managed by Wilmot Harkey and Daniel Mack, and Patrick Degorce’s Theleme Partners also liked the stock during the second quarter: their 13F filings reported purchases of shares that brought their holdings to 630,000 and 1.9 million shares, respectively. See more stocks that Nantahala and Theleme Partners reported owning. It is of course possible that these funds had reduced their positions in the stock during the third quarter or over the course of this month.

Sealy is unprofitable on a trailing basis, and even its EV/EBITDA multiple of 7.7x (likely bid up by Tempur-Pedic, which has a multiple of only 7.0x) isn't appealing from a value perspective. It currently trades at 20 times analyst estimates for what it would earn as an independent company in the next fiscal year (which would end in November). We suppose it’s good for the value thesis that Tempur-Pedic is expanding, even if it may be overpaying a bit; the question is whether or not the mattress business is attractive in the first place.

Mattress companies Select Comfort (NASDAQ: SCSS) and Mattress Firm (NASDAQ: MFRM), along with comfort furniture company La-Z-Boy (NYSE: LZB), are also peers for Tempur-Pedic. All three of these companies carry trailing P/Es of 19- a very large premium to where Tempur-Pedic is currently trading- and their forward P/E multiples are in the teens as well. The mattress-focused companies, however, have experienced strong growth: in their most recent quarters, Select Comfort and Mattress Firm grew their revenues by 24% and 46%, respectively, compared to the same period in the previous year, with earnings growth being about twice as high in both cases due to higher margins. If even moderate growth can continue, we’d actually like these companies better than the struggling Tempur-Pedic. La-Z-Boy saw small top-line growth but lower margins almost wiped out net income. We’re not sure that it should be in the same multiples range as these other two companies.

Tempur-Pedic looks like a value stock on an earnings basis, but we’re worried that even its acquisition won’t help it stabilize its business. It’s tough to pass up, and we’d keep an eye on it over the next several months; but the higher-priced mattress companies look like better buys as they deliver good performance.


This article is written by Matt Doiron and edited by Meena Krishnamsetty. They don't own shares in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Tempur-Pedic International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.

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