Revlon Tries Reverse Stock Split Game, And Gives Guidance (REV)

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If you have followed shares of Revlon, Inc. (NYSE: REV), you already know what a long-term let down this stock has been.  Despite years of having top models pedal its wares, it’s stock has been a financial disaster.

Management has decided to play one of the oldest shell games on Wall Street.  Its board of directors just announced a REVERSE STOCK SPLIT with a 1 for 10 ratio.  So now 1,000 shares will become 100 shares.  management called this an effort to appeal to a broader base of shareholders, comply with NYSE listing standards, and reduction in certain costs.

The company is also giving preliminary guidance.  It sees set sales of approximately $320 million, compared to $328.6 million in the first quarter of 2007.  First Call only shows one estimate and that was for $350 million.  Other guidance is as follows:

  • Operating income of approximately $30 million, compared to $3 million reported in Q1-2007;
  • Net loss of approximately $5 million, compared to a net loss of $35.2 million in Q1-2007;
  • Adjusted EBITDA of about $55 million, compared to $32.3 million in Q1-2007.

The company said that net sales in Q1-2007 benefited from the initial shipments related to its launch of Revlon Colorist haircolor, which was the primary driver of the change in net sales year-over-year.  But Revlon is also discussing improvements this year as "significant improvement" in it preliminary operating income, as well as its net loss and its Adjusted EBITDA in Q1-2008.  Management also called 2007 one of its best years in many and that it has remained committed to generating profitable sales growth and positive free cash flow.

Shareholders don’t really need to do much here as far as any action, because the Ron Perelman entity called MacAndrews & Forbes that has a combined Class A & B total voting power of 74% of the voting power has already approved the reverse split.

You can join our open email distribution list to hear about special financings, secondary offerings, IPO’s, M&A, and more previews for other special situations in various stages.  Revlon has also been reviewed for our weekly "10 Stocks Under $10" newsletter, although the debt has always been far too high for our preferences.

Revlon shares are now down about 6% on the news to $0.90 today.  This will mark a new-52-week low as the prior range was $0.91 to $1.48.  Five years ago, this was a $3 to $4 stock; and until early 2006 it had mostly traded in a range from $2.00 to $3.50.  Shares used to trade exponentially higher than today.

Jon C. Ogg
April 11, 2008

Jon Ogg produces the Special Situation Investing Newsletter.  He can be reached at jonogg@247wallst.com and he does not own securities in the companies he covers.