It probably should not have come as a surprise to me that something as simple as ringing a bell would be made into a big production in New York. It is the home of Broadway, after all. Considering the people at NASDAQ ring a bell each morning to open the market and each evening to close it, I guess they have a lot of practice at making it something special for those selected for this honor.
On Tuesday, the honor of ringing the closing bell went to Town Sports International (TSI) CEO Bob Giardina (pictured to the right, photo by Zef Nikolla), the TSI executive committee and about 12 of TSI's top performing employees, according to Lisa Hufcut, TSI spokesperson. The honor came on the day TSI celebrated its fifth anniversary as a public company. If you missed it, you can relive the moment by clicking on the video from this link.
The bell ringing capped a day in which TSI's stock closed at $7.75 per share, up from the day prior, but lower than its July 7 high for the year of $8.44. Both numbers are much higher than the $2.50 that the stock hovered around at this time last year.
Giardina has a few other things to be happy about these days. The company will announce its second quarter financials next week, but in a presentation given at the Piper Jaffray 21st Annual Consumer Conference, Giardina stated that the company expects second quarter 2011 revenue to be between $117 million and $118 million compared to $117.4 million in second quarter 2010 and EBITDA to improve $2 million to $21.3 million. From fourth quarter 2008 to first quarter 2011, TSI has reduced its net debt by $70.4 million to $257.2 million. The company refinanced its existing debt to give it more liquidity. It expects to reduce that debt by another $10 million by the end of the year. And it plans to open two clubs later this year.
Depending on how the rest of this year plays out for TSI, Giardina may be back to ring the NASDAQ bell again in the near future.