Folks who live in glass houses don't roll boulders, so although I'm discussing Oakley
The Fool hasn't had much to say about this company since 2002, when signs of trouble prompted pans from Rick Aristotle Munarriz and Matt Richey. But today's headlines trumpeting record fourth-quarter results (and the stock's 9% jump) give us cause to tune out the bass fishing channel and take a look at the numbers behind the orange tint.
Revenue for the quarter increased 18% year over year to a record $121.6 million, fueling a 67% increase in earnings per share. That looks pretty, um... rad, but full-year results weren't so bodacious. Sales were up 6.5% but earnings per share fell 8.2%. Inventories and accounts receivable jumped twice as quickly as sales, by 13.4% and 14.5%, respectively. Gnarly. (Failures in these key metrics were among signals that set off Matt Richey's short detector back in 2002.)
To be fair, there were some improvements. The full year saw a 23% increase in sales of apparel, prescription eyewear, watches, and footwear, which helped offset sagging sales of the signature shades. And the company shrank its days sales outstanding by two days, year over year.
But should investors join the Oakley parade? I'd say "Not." Sunglasses and sports apparel are tough fields, especially with big competitors like Nike
Failing to wring earnings growth out of higher 2003 revenue bodes ill for the company, and by its own admission, sales increases for 2004 are dependent on an economic upswing. Oakley's investor relations page expresses a "raging distaste for mediocrity." Investors should take the same attitude. Trading at 25 times optimistic forward estimates of $0.65 per share, the stock looks richly valued with just mediocre prospects.
That's a bummer, dude.
Is your teenager bringing home too many pairs of fancy shades? Discuss budget options on the Fool's Teens and Their Money board.
Extreme couch potato and Fool contributor Seth Jayson owns several pairs of ugly shades, but no shares of the companies in this story.