Monday, February 12, 2007

Avon Again??

Avon Products (NYSE:AVP) recently released results. (Feb 6 to be exact.) Andrea Jung, chairman and CEO, commented,

"With 9% revenue growth in the fourth quarter, we continue to feel good about the progress we are making against our turnaround plan.”

A closer reading of the press release and associated financials indicates Q4 operating margin was 10.8%, versus 12.4% in the prior-year quarter. Accounts receivable were up 10% and inventories were up 12%. All this is occurring in the context of product simplification. The basic metrics are not aligning for growth; Avon is dragging some serious boat anchors that should be seeing improvement by now.

The stock is currently trading near its 52 week high. So if management feels good about progress will the stock see new highs. On Jan 31, 07 Andrea Jung exercised 180,000 options and immediately sold 83,115 on a non open market basis at $34.19. So if the boss is hedging their bet investors should be in a caveat emptor frame of mind.

Check out Yahoo Finance insider trading. Money talks BS walks.