Another Shoe Company Stubs Its Toe

For the most part, shoe stocks seem down at the heels lately, as anyone familiar with Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX  ) , Timberland (NYSE: TBL  ) , and Heelys (Nasdaq: HLYS  ) can attest. Skechers (NYSE: SKX  ) reported second-quarter earnings yesterday, and let's just say that investors reacted as if they'd stepped in something unpleasant.

Second-quarter net income fell 2% to $14.6 million, or $0.31 per share. Revenue almost increased 1% to $354.6 million. Even though the company was able to boost gross margin, it just wasn't enough with such weakness in sales.  

The results -- and expectations -- for the third quarter fell quite short of what Wall Street analysts expected. Their consensus estimate called for earnings of $0.34 per share, on revenue of $360.3 million.

Skechers' third-quarter outlook wasn't heartening, either. The company expects earnings of $0.57 to $0.65 per share in the third quarter, on revenue of $425 million to $440 million. Analysts expected earnings of $0.66 per share on revenue of $447.2 million.

Of course, many shoe stocks have suffered similar fates. Deckers (Nasdaq: DECK  ) has bucked the trend thus far (although its stock price has receded somewhat), and Nike (NYSE: NKE  ) seems to be holding strong, but many have simply gotten trashed over the last year or so.

Perhaps everybody feels like they've got plenty of shoes in their closets already, and given economic pressures, they'll make do with what they already have. (Then again, maybe in a few months, when everybody's worn out their shoeleather walking because of high gas prices, some of these shoe companies will start to see signs of life.)

I named Skechers a Stock of the Week back in February. At the time, it looked to me like a solid company that had gotten beaten down to value levels. (Investors took last quarter's tidings much better than this one's.)

Given yesterday's bloodbath, Skechers now looks even cheaper, trading at just 11 times trailing earnings. Compare that to Deckers' P/E ratio of 23, Nike's 15, Timberland's 19, and of course, Crocs' P/E of 6. Even with its apparent cheapness, I still can't quite fathom investing in Crocs.

I don't foresee an entirely shoeless future, so I suspect the current slowdown gives watchful investors opportunities to buy some of these stocks on the cheap. Although Skechers faces near-term challenges, it's a good stock for value-oriented, long-term investors to consider.

Crocs is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems Pay Dirt recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On July 25, 2008, at 11:37 AM, dcrednek wrote:

    How about WWW? Maybe you can develop a follow-up article to this one focusing on Wolverine's prospects.

  • Report this Comment On July 25, 2008, at 1:49 PM, TMFLomax wrote:

    Hi dcrednek,

    Thanks for the comment -- quite honestly, I've never looked at Wolverine. So, thanks for the reminder that that is a stock I should familiarize myself with!

    Best,

    Alyce

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