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Harry Long
Harry Long

Crown Crafts: A Classic Free Cash Flow Generating Business

March 06, 2010 | About:
Crown Crafts (CRWS) is a classic free cash flow generating business.

Business: Crown Crafts, Inc. engages in the design, marketing, and distribution of infant and toddler products in the United States and internationally. Its infant products include crib bedding, blankets, nursery accessories, room decor, bibs, burp cloths, bathing accessories, and other infant soft goods.

Free Cash Flow Generation (Data as of 2/25/2010)

Year 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Free Cash Flow (in millions) 5.1 6.4 2.8 5.9 7.3 11.0 2.5 8

Impressively, in no year did capital expenditures exceed $450 thousand.

From 2002-2009, total assets averaged $58.46 million.

From 2002-2009 Free Cash Flow averaged $6.13 million.

Therefore, we get an average Free Cash Flow ROA for the period of:

$6.13 million / $58.46 million = 10.48% (quite good!)

At a $30 million market cap, CRWS is trading at:

3.75X 2009's Free Cash Flow and
4.9X its 8 year average Free Cash Flow.

Management has been very diligent about paying down debt. Long-Term Debt was $36.8 million in 2002. In the latest quarter reported, Long-Term Debt stood at $1.784 million. On February 9, 2010 Crown Crafts' Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.02 a share. Revenue in the latest quarter reported was up 6.98%

It's always heart-warming to see old school, conservative management. CEO Randall Chestnut and his team really execute on the blocking and tackling of a well run enterprise.

For me, researching CRWS is always a pleasure. It was one of my first big winners, making me over 650% in less than two years during a restructuring in 2006-2007. I try to regularly keep up with their results. CEO Randall Chestnut is a fierce competitor. He was the right-hand man to David H. Murdock of Castle & Cook/Dole Foods fame at various textile companies which Murdock would take over and Chestnut would turn around.

After Chestnut became CEO of Crown Crafts, he shuttered money-losing units, moved manufacturing to Asia, slashed costs to the bone, aggressively paid down debt with cash flow, and recently made some accretive acquisitions at very shrewd EBITDA multiples. CRWS has a very lean cost structure that makes it a natural supplier to Wal-Mart, but a tough model for its competitors to emulate. Bottom line, the company has the cost advantages of Asian manufacturing combined with a seasoned U.S. management team which is as shrewd and honest as the day is long. It is quite a combination.


  1. Excellent Management

  2. Lean Cost Structure

  3. Free Cash Flow Generation

  4. Strong Sourcing/Logistics

  5. Shrewd Acquisitions
Primary Risks

  1. Private Label Brands

  2. Customer Concentration

  3. Retail-Direct Licensing

  4. Tough Competitive Environment

  5. Asian Product Safety


Disclosure: No positions, but that may change it any time.

Contrarian Industries, LLC is not a registered investment advisor. Nothing in this white

paper should be construed as investment advice. It is merely the personal opinion of

Contrarian Industries, LLC Managing Member Harry Long. Contrarian Industries, LLC and

Harry Long disclaim any liability for any actions taken on reliance on the data and opinions

reflected in this white paper.

Contrarian Industries, LLC and Harry Long disclaim any liability for any errors or

omissions in data, facts, or analysis/opinion in this white paper and are under no obligation

to update this white paper as new data is reported.

Investors should consult a registered investment advisor for advice on financial matters.

Rating: 3.3/5 (6 votes)


Batbeer2 premium member - 7 years ago
That is an interesting pick. Thanks for the idea; I may come back with some questions after I have done my homework.
Northstar123 - 7 years ago    Report SPAM
The broad consensus within their industry is that they paid much more for acquisitions than they needed to.

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GuruFocus has detected 1 Warning Sign with Crown Crafts Inc $CRWS.
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