Surf and ski retailer Quiksilver
Sure, sales were up a measly 2%, while profits dropped a stomach-turning 87% from last year. Yes, European revenues dropped 3% to $254 million, and now both Europe and the Americas account for nearly equal portions of revenue. Inventories skyrocketed 19% over the course of the year, while receivables ballooned 15% from the year-ago period.
Admittedly, the company has some issues on its hands. Quiksilver has called Rossignol a "tremendous, untapped opportunity." Well, it ought to start tapping real soon. I wasn't too keen on a clothing retailer taking on a hard-goods line of business when Quiksilver acquired the ski-maker, but there was indeed a huge well of opportunity in splashing the popular Rossignol ski name over t-shirts, sweat shirts, jackets, and all sorts of other accoutrements. Quiksilver needs to begin that marketing drive, pronto.
With that gloomy outlook, what's to like? Actually, the company's loss of nearly $200 million in market cap overlooks numerous bright spots. Revenue handily beat analyst forecasts, which had predicted just $540 million to run through the till. Those stronger overall sales were helped by a healthy 9% increase in revenue from the Americas. The company's teen-oriented brands -- Roxy, DC, and the eponymous Quiksilver -- all sold as or better than anticipated. Those brands should help keep the retailer in line.
Much of Quiksilver's pain resulted from unseasonably warm weather in Europe. The east coast of the U.S. also had warmer weather, but a January cold snap helped K2, for example, experience big sales of its Marmot Mountain line of outdoor clothes in the month. Europe may not get that same effect this season, so feel free to write off Quiksilver's year in Europe as a bust. The market already has.
The market's offering virtually no premium for Quiksilver on a forward price-to-earnings ratio, and the company's price-to-sales ratio is a tempting 0.59 on trailing revenues (factoring in the discount the market provided overnight). With Wall Street expecting little, and baking the bad news into Quiksilver's share price, just about any positive news should make this stock rise.
With its prime brands still selling well, the potential for overseas ski sales to improve next year, and the Rossignol name's continuing marketing opportunities, it seems to this Fool that shares of Quiksilver could be a bargain. Retailers in general have had a rough few months, but the strength of the Roxy and DC brands should provide a foundation of support until the rest of the business turns around. The weather will get cold again, and snow will fall. Most of the trees that sprouted up in Quiksilver's path are behind it now.
Hit the slopes with further Foolishness:
- Foolish Forecast: Quiksilver Stumbles on the Slopes
- Quiksilver: Another Solid Session
- The Quik(silver) and the Dead