Tupperware Brands (NYSE:TUP) is best known for its Tupperware parties, where its kitchen preparation and storage products are sold outside traditional retail channels. This business model is seeing stable trends in more mature markets in the U.S. and Europe but stands out for its appeal in faster-growing emerging markets. A reasonable multiple means shareholder returns could be quite appealing going forward.
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Tupperware is a direct seller of namesake kitchen storage products as well as beauty and personal care products, the last of which was beefed up from the 2005 purchase of Sara Lee's (NYSE:SLE) direct-selling businesses. Its direct sales approach relies on an army of 2.4 million individuals across the globe that are "outside traditional retail store locations." The Tupperware party is the primary vehicle for selling its goods and takes place at home, office and related social meeting places.
The model is especially useful in emerging markets that have less of a traditional retailing infrastructure. Roughly half of sales now stem from these markets and are the company's primary growth avenue. Approximately 86% of sales now stem from outside of the U.S. 70% of sales come from the namesake product sales while the other 30% comes from beauty and personal care brands.
Primary competitors include retail stores that sell the same products and direct competitors, such as Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) Pampered Chef brand of higher end kitchen-related merchandise and Avon's (NYSE:AVP) beauty goods.
Tupperware released third quarter results back in October and reported that sales grew 2% to $523.2 million. The company struggled in Europe and many parts in North America, though Brazilian sales jumped 33%. It saw double-digit growth in Asia on a 56% jump in Indian sales and 29% growth in Indonesia. Cost controls helped push net income up 23.5% to $39.9 million, or 62 cents per diluted share.
Management expects full-year sales growth to be between 6% and 7%, when stripping out the effects of currency fluctuations. Earnings guidance is between $3.47 and $3.52 per share and would represent year-over-year growth between 12 and 15%.
A strong third quarter and stock market run have pushed Tupperware's shares back toward their 52-week highs, but the forward P/E is still reasonable at under 14. Net income levels are also close to free cash flow generation and means the cash flow multiple is also appealingly low given sales and earnings have grown in the double digits annually over the past five years. (To learn more, see Free Cash Flow: Free, But Not Always Easy.) For investors interested in an emerging markets play that is based domestically, Tupperware should be high on their list.
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