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The Steak N Shakes Company Flipping Burgers into $$$

October 23, 2009 | About:

I have written about Sardar Biglari a few times since the start of the year. It appears more on Wall Street are taking notice of this fund manager. This article is from the Wall Street Journals news wire...Steak N Shake 'Already Flowing with Cash'.

Biglari runs a partnership much like the one Warren Buffett ran earlier in his career.

Biglari who started buying Steak N Shake shares a couple years ago is currently the largest shareholder. He is also the acting CEO. He is what you would call a share holder activist. Share holder activists are usually investors who usually take a large stake in a company and push for a turnaround, this is usually when the stock has performed poorly. Not always is this good for the small shareholder but in the case with biglari, his interests are in line with shareholders. As the article states Steak N Shake is already producing free cash flow. Trailing 12 months free cash flow is 35.9 million (see chart below). Biglari has stated before that he could use the cash to buy back shares which decreases the shares outstanding which would help boost the bottom line. He can also take the excess cash and put it to use in better performing businesses, much like buffett has done over the last half century.

Management Direction

"New management, during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008, enacted a change in strategic direction under which we began to operate in a manner designed to generate cash. Our long-term objective is to maximize intrinsic business value per share of the Company. (Intrinsic value is computed by taking all future cash flows into and out of the business and then discounting the resultant number at an appropriate interest rate.) Thus, our financial goal is to maximize free cash flow and return on invested capital. We regard capital allocation as immensely important to creating shareholder value. Steak n Shake is transforming into a holding company. Its basic premise is to reinvest cash generated from its operating subsidiaries into any investments with the objective of achieving high risk-adjusted returns. Pursuant to a resolution of the Company’s Board of Directors on June 17, 2009, all investment and other capital allocation decisions are made for the Company by Sardar Biglari, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "

Steak N Shake might sell burgers, fries and shakes, however one day they could very well be selling insurance. Biglari is also the largest shareholder of Western Sizzlin (WEST) which he plans on rolling into Steak N Shake which should take place in the coming months.

Free Cash Flow $Mil200620072008TTM
Cash from Operations69.643.424.442.0
Cap Ex(80.8)(68.6)(31.4)(6.1)
Free Cash Flow(11.3)(25.2)(7.0)35.9

Rating: 3.3/5 (4 votes)


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