Volcom's Face Plant

If you're wondering why Volcom (Nasdaq: VLCM  ) shares are doing a face plant today, it could be because some investors are spooked by the future. Are skateboarders and other board sports enthusiasts really that sensitive to trends in macroeconomics? I guess we'll have to see.

Volcom's third-quarter profits and revenues were undeniably good. Net income increased by 43% to $14.5 million or $0.59 per share, and revenues jumped 49% to $91 million. The company's stepped-up European operations contributed $26 million to the revenue growth, although continued investments in European infrastructure contributed to a 49% increase in SG&A expenses.

So what's caused Volcom shares to crash by about 20%? Volcom lowered its fourth-quarter guidance due to several factors. One factor we've heard before -- Pacific Sunwear (Nasdaq: PSUN  ) , a major Volcom customer, which has long struggled to turn around its business. Meanwhile, note several other negative influences -- the shaky consumer spending environment, which many of us retail-oriented investors are aware of, as well as a "challenging 2006 snow season," and lower sales from its new footwear business.

The fourth quarter will weigh on 2007. Revenues will increase by 31% to 33%, and earnings per share will increase by 16% to 18%, although 20% earnings and revenue growth is still "achievable" for 2008. With that, one might wonder if its forward P/E of 16 presents an opportunity.

Shares of another of Volcom's major customers, Zumiez (Nasdaq: ZUMZ  ) , also fell today, although that company reported very good news recently -- despite consumer spending concerns that dogged other retailers.

We've been through this before with Volcom. In July 2006, it got slammed mostly because of Pacific Sunwear, but it navigated the situation admirably. This past summer, Volcom shares wiped out again, and while the third quarter has gone nicely, investors wonder what the future holds, given the relatively sluggish guidance.

Personally, I'm impressed by Volcom and its clever, authentic branding to the board sports crowd. I'm also aware it's one of those high-growth stocks that wipes out when it disappoints high expectations. Given the tough macro environment, conservative investors might wait to see if the fourth quarter presents an opportunity to buy shares cheaper, but given its high-growth history, I don't think it's unreasonable to go shopping for Volcom shares on this dip right now.

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