BHS talks about rebranding, economy

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11/21/2008
Brink's Home Security's earnings call yesterday was its first as a standalone company. Most of the earnings information was publicly released and discussed more than a week ago during The Brink's Company's—BHS's former parent—earnings report. This call, for most of the investors who dialed in, appeared to be an opportunity to talk about the rebranding, and how the poor economy is affecting BHS. Unlike many companies, BHS is pretty liquid. It's starting its new life with no debt, a $50m infusion of cash from BCO and a $75 m. line of credit, which can be expanded to $125m. Of course, one of the hedge fund guys (John Powers Millbrook Capital) wanted to know if BHS would be spending a bunch of its cash doing a stock buy-back real soon. BHS president Bob Allen said not in the short term, that BHS wants to conserve cash on hand, since they're entering into a rebranding effort, on which they expect to spend $100m to $150m. BHS president Bob Allen characterized the quarter as one of “solid growth in a challenging economic environment … [including] continued expansion in the customer base, which grew by 7 percent in the third quarter.” Revenue was up 8.9 percent over Q3 last year ($135.4m from $124.3m last year). Operating profit margin was up to $22.8 million from $14.8m last year. The disconnect rate was up over last year, something Allen was asked about during the call. Asked if they will adjust monitoring rates to save an account, he said for a customer with a good payment history, possibly. Asked if BHS will adjust upfront costs (to the customer) to make a sale, he said no. The new name will be announced in the third quarter, as Allen has said before, and they're open to suggestion. Any of you have any good ideas?