Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX ) shares stumbled big-time last fall. If the footwear company can redeem itself in 2012, though, investors who step into the shares now could be in for some gains.
First, I'll admit it: For many years, Crocs was one of my least favorite stock ideas. Once a darling cult stock, the company hit a wall in 2008 after the fad element of its footwear reached a peak. There was a point when Crocs' ultimate survival was in question, but the company has since made it off the endangered list.
Although Crocs shares plunged in October after it lowered its forecasts, overall, the company's been reporting perfectly solid financial growth lately. Let's compare it to several footwear peers' financial metrics over the last 12 months.
Revenue Gain (Loss) %
Earnings (Loss) Per Share
Gross Profit Margin %
Total Debt-to-Capital Ratio
|Deckers Outdoor (Nasdaq: DECK )
|Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE: WWW )
|Nike (NYSE: NKE )
Source: S&P Capital IQ.
As you can see, Crocs is actually holding its own quite admirably after its years of swampy difficulties. Although the lowered guidance (and uncertainty about the European marketplace for Crocs) certainly gives investors reason for concern, Crocs looks like a value at this point, with perfectly solid revenue growth, a solid profit, a handsome profit margin, and an optimistic outlook in the Asian marketplace.
Crocs' PEG ratio is currently 0.49. That's the very cheapest compared to Deckers, Wolverine, and Nike, which sport PEG ratios of 0.90, 1.04, and 1.78, respectively. However, one benefit that these other brands have over Crocs is that the latter is largely considered a "warm-weather brand," meaning that from this point forward investors may have to wait a few months before getting excited about its selling season. Though it has made forays into more conventional shoe styles that are closer to those of these competitors, there is no telling yet whether or not they'll take off.
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