Since its initial public offering in October, Allbirds (BIRD -1.10%) stock has plunged 35%, but investors shouldn't give up just yet. This eco-friendly shoemaker is building a recognizable brand, and its business is trending toward profitability. In this Backstage Pass video, recorded on Nov. 8, Motley Fool analyst Asit Sharma shares his thoughts on Allbirds.
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Asit Sharma: This is a shoe made by a company called Allbirds. It is a high-tech shoe. The story behind this company is that a very well-regarded soccer football player in European terms, in New Zealand, a national star, wanted to make a better running shoe. Sheep outnumber humans at a ratio of something like 7-to-1 in New Zealand, so his shoe uses composite materials, part wool, part high-tech materials. Tim Brown, teamed up with an engineer named Joey Zwillinger, to help them design the shoe, which is reminiscent of how Nike got started decades ago. This brand, Allbirds, is an emerging global brand in the sneaker industry. I'm going to run through all this pretty quickly here.
It is a next-generation runner's shoe. The revenue growth rate of this company is 32%. That's not quarter over quarter, as I presented with UiPath. This is actually a compounded annual growth rate for the last few years, which is pretty fast for a sneaker company.
It works on a direct-to-consumer plus a store footprint model. They've got about 22 stores globally. The rest is e-commerce. They have a gross margin of 52% -- actually, just for fun, I've lined up the same bullet points that I used with UiPath for totally different type of company -- 52% percent in this case is pretty good. I often talk, if you listen to Industry Focus by any chance, on that show, about manufacturers. Rule of thumb, across different manufacturing industries, you need to get above 50% to be able to scale and show eventual profit on the bottom line if you're a growth company, especially a consumer-facing company that is outsourcing its manufacturing distribution. They do that. So I like that margin profile.
I talked about these two co-founders, Joey or Joe Zwillinger and Tim Brown, not Tom Brown. Speaking of Freudian slips, I can correct that in real-time, they own 13% of shares. The strategic edge here is brand strength. Don't ignore brand strength. I did this personally with Yeti, which had very similar characteristics to this company, and I thought, "What is this small upstart challenger brand going to do?" Yeti is becoming a very well-known brand in its own space. Numerous other examples that I can cite, but really briefly here, just to show you a couple of more things.
This is their growth rate that I talked about, that 32% annual compounded annual growth rate. Digital is growing at about the same rate because it propels most of the sales. You see here the progression of their gross margin. That expense, I think is going to increase a little bit. They have one statistic that really interests me, in that -- let me see if I can find it really quickly, because I changed this up a little bit for time, I'm omitting some things. Bear with me. I will get it. Here we go. 100% of all their purchasing cohorts have contribution profits that make it profitable within the first month of purchase. What that means is, after you account for the materials, the cost of the shoe, the buying cohorts that come in, 100% of them are contributing positive. Basically, think of it similar to gross margin to this company. Basically, they just have to figure out their fixed cost as they scale. There's a clear path to profitability with the company. Then I will finish up here just by showing you this is pre-IPO. They just went public, had a spectacular debut. I think the stock nearly doubled. Just to show you the balance sheet is pretty solid even before their IPO. You see here there's about $160-odd million of working capital. The company has roughly $200 million in annual revenue.
Here we go, just looking at the income statement, you can see they're not far from scaling into profitability. This is by choice. They're trying to grab market share.