Is It Time to Sell Timberland?

This article is part of our Rising Star Portfolios series.

Timberland (NYSE: TBL  ) was the inaugural stock purchase for my Rising Star portfolio. As of this writing, it's also become the portfolio's first double since my November purchase. Although many investors would view this as a good opportunity to take the money and run, I'm holding.

True, Timberland's trading at 24 times earnings, far higher than the trailing multiples attached to rival shoe companies like Steve Madden (Nasdaq: SHOO  ) at 18, Skechers' (NYSE: SKX  )   mere 7, and even mighty Nike (NYSE: NKE  ) at its own 18. And sure, I'd usually poke fun at paying this kind of multiple for a shoe company. I certainly wouldn't want to pay the same 24 times earnings at which Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX  ) currently trades.

Here's my hold rationale: I'd still believe that Timberland's future remains bright, whether its stock price went up, down, or sideways since November. It possesses a well-known brand name, and more importantly, big ideas. At 1.24, its PEG ratio makes the stock seem reasonably valued compared to growth predictions. I also suspect that analysts haven't fully figured Timberland's competitive strengths into their estimates, so that ratio may not adequately reflect the growth Timberland's got coming. In other words, the company could be even cheaper than it looks now.

I designed this portfolio to be inspired by socially responsible, or impact, investing; it's also meant to reflect being a stock buyer, not a renter. I'd rather not sell unless a stock seems insanely overvalued -- in which case the money might be better utilized elsewhere -- or if something seems to have gone very wrong with a company's business prospects. I plan to do my best to practice the art of patient stockholding, even if the ride occasionally gets a bit bumpy.

When I bought shares of Timberland for this portfolio, I never tried to argue that its price would double in such a short time. I bought Timberland because its management pursued a green, environmentally conscious ethos far before that thinking was "hip." Timberland has held that authenticity in its corporate DNA for years; its pioneering attitude carries greater weight than any desire for a quick double.

What would you do with Timberland at its current price? Share your thoughts in the comments box below, or add Timberland to your watchlist to track the stock yourself.

This article is part of our Rising Star Portfolios series, where we give some of our most promising stock analysts cold, hard cash to manage on the Fool's behalf. We'd like you to track our performance and benefit from these real-money, real-time free stock picks. Click here to see all of our Rising Star analysts (and their portfolios).

Nike and Timberland are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. The Fool owns shares of Timberland. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned; for more on this and other topics, check back at Fool.com, or follow her on Twitter: @AlyceLomax. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (11)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2011, at 10:41 PM, shoeman1967 wrote:

    Be careful. Inflation is currently hitting the footwear industry's supply chain. The industry has not faced price inflation since they moved to their current business model over twenty years ago. Take a look at Nike's latest earnings announcement. The cost challenges that Nike speaks about will hit the entire footwear industry in 2011.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 10:39 AM, earlygirlretiree wrote:

    I have already in place a limit order to sell 1/4 of my stake in Timberland when it doubled my initial cost basis. While simplistic, whatever happens from now on, I have recovered some profit and still have most of the stock left to grow more. I have been very happy with Timberland's performance and hope it will continue.

  • Report this Comment On April 12, 2011, at 2:44 PM, TMFLomax wrote:

    shoeman1967, I agree that inflation is going to be difficult for many consumer-facing companies that will be faced with higher costs and the risks of trying to pass some costs onto consumers. I will check into Nike's recent quarter; thanks for the thought.

    earlygirlretiree, I think that's a very logical plan to lock in some of the profit while retaining most of your stake. TBL's performance has been very impressive!

    Thanks for the thoughts on TBL!

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