Another Crocs Shocker

Yesterday afternoon, I asked how low Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX  ) stock could go. I certainly didn't expect that after market close, it would take a bazooka to its quarterly and yearly guidance, and see its share price cut in half in after-hours trading. In my article, I cautioned Fools to stay away from the stock, even though it was pretty hard to imagine things could get much worse. But lo and behold, they have.

Crocs slashed its second-quarter earnings guidance to between $0.03 and $0.07 per share. Compare that to previous expectations for earnings of $0.42 to $0.47 per share in the quarter (analysts had expected $0.41 per share). Now look at those figures one more time. That is one MAJOR revision, people (and I don't use the caps lock frivolously)! For the year, Crocs now expects only to break even; analysts had expected earnings of $1.52 per share.   

You know the saying, "Waiting for the other shoe to drop"? Well, Crocs apparently has had a lot of shoes to drop, perhaps in every imaginable color.

Crocs blamed the weak U.S. market, as retailers like Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN  ) , Macy’s (NYSE: M  ) and Dillard’s (NYSE: DDS  ) move to leaner inventories. True, many companies are struggling with weak consumer spending here in the U.S. However, it's difficult to imagine that Crocs' guidance could be that out of whack, given the huge discrepancy.

I forgot to mention in my article yesterday that I'm beginning to wonder whether Crocs' management is sketchy, incompetent, inexperienced, or what: Insiders dumped shares at the stocks' highs, management simply called its inventory build-up "aggressive" last fall, and recently restated some financials. Those events don't exactly build my confidence in the company -- if anything, they make me suspect that things are, at the very least, sorely amiss.    

Yesterday, before this news broke, I admitted that Crocs might be cheap -- if you believed analysts' expectations. We already have solid evidence that those analysts remained far too optimistic (as did management's guidance, of course). So now we know it wasn't as cheap as it appeared -- in fact, it was downright pricey.

Some people out there are still counting on Crocs as a good value stock. Personally, I'm thinking that Crocs is most certainly not a Deckers (Nasdaq: DECK  ) , but more like a Heelys (Nasdaq: HLYS  ) , with a product that quickly rolled into fashion and then fell off a cliff.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Crocs is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems Pay Dirt recommendation.


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  • Report this Comment On July 25, 2008, at 10:37 AM, Brettze wrote:

    As the old saying goes,

    "Life is a beach".

    For Crocs, it is not all beach shoes, there is many other styles to choose without the ugly holes. Winter shoes, hiking shoes, loafers, shoes for ladies, you name it... All is made of croslite that resists bacteria which is great for guys with smelly feet, I am sure!! Try them... Go to the website Crocs.com. Check em out, dudes!

    Analysts miss them all!! What is going on? Is it the last hurrah of the naked short sellers? I bet!

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