Here is what I expect to see for the last quarter:
1) Further communication about the turnaround and synchronization efforts of the Syms and Filene's Basement (FbSy) brands.
2) Cap-ex levels being relatively high, for the new stores being opened or the older ones that are being integrated together with the Filene's brand.
3) Some discussion of the recently laid off workers in Secaucus.
4) Nice cash flow from inventory reductions due to the holidays. Note that I am not saying over all cash flow will be superb.
5) I won't even comment on what I think earnings will be, as I wouldn't be surprised by anything that happens, I could see the company having significant losses, but, also doing OK.
Things that we won't see until next quarter:
1) Discussion about the sale of the Rockville real estate: While I doubt that there will be much, if any discussion about the sale leaseback of the Rockville property, we will learn about the cash flow provided from the property, as well as the more recent borrowings of the company.
2) A better idea of the integration of the Filene's brand.
3) A better idea of recent borrowings.
In light of whatever happens with the coming earnings release, it does little to effect my original investment thesis: The company sits on a mound of real estate, which is understated on the books. Even if the retail operations continue to stagnate, the company is worth more than it is trading at. Anything that happens to the positive on the retail side is icing on the cake.
Regardless, it is important to remember, regardless of if the results are positive or negative, that the company is reporting results that are will be nearly 3 months old.
Additionally, I am optimistic that results will turn around, as the company is in the process of opening new and expensive stores. I can't imagine that this would happen if the Syms family wasn't comfortable with the financial footing of the company... after having read Marcy Syms' book, I have a much better feeling for management.
Disclosure: I am long Syms. This is not advice of any kind. Always do a ton of your own research when so much as thinking about anything that I say, do, talk, or write about.