It was a good year for Crocs
What's the scoop?
Crocs hit its seasonal low point in the fourth quarter, reporting $203.7 million revenue and a mere $5.6 million in net income. It's still an improvement over the same quarter a year ago, but the drop was a bit steeper than it has been recently:
Sources: Morningstar and Crocs earnings release.
While the trend has been generally positive, don't expect a blowout coming up. First-quarter guidance is aiming for $263 to $268 million, with EPS between $0.24 and $0.26. Analysts expected 30 cents per share, hence the big drop today. The top line, therefore, ought to grow by about 18%, but EPS will be unchanged year over year, a disappointment.
Crocs wasn't the only company to get hit with the curse of high expectations. Deckers
The footwear industry, with the exception of Skechers
Despite that distinction, the company's stock has clawed its way to some fantastic gains, far outstripping its industry peers:
Even after this growth, Crocs still sports the lowest P/E (at least until it goes on another tear) of this group. Does that make it the best value? Let's see what analysts think:
2012 Projected Revenue Growth
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
Crocs is the second highest of the group, falling short of Steve Madden's ambitious 23% growth estimates. Footwear titan Nike will keep the industry exciting, though, if they can fill the 16% projected growth for 2012. The bottom line is, Crocs is sporting some of the higher growth estimates in the industry, coupled with a low P/E.
Seems like there's still some potential there. Crocs has a lot of opportunity left in Asia and Europe, which both saw 34% sales growth year over year and were the company's fastest-growing sales channels. European sales did slow for the fourth quarter, as might be expected for an area that's entering a recession. Despite that, the company plans to open more locations throughout the EU in 2012. Crocs also intends to open between 25 and 50 Asian stores, a big increase over the 198 currently scattered through the region.
Is there potential? Plenty. Room for growth? Looks like it. Will the stock grow as much as it did exiting the recession? Probably not. That doesn't mean it's not worth holding onto, and it might even be worth a spot in your portfolio after today's overreaction. One important thing to watch will be Crocs' ability to translate its brisk expansion into bigger numbers on the bottom line.
Interested in more news and insights? Add Crocs to your watchlist. If you're still on the hunt for some dominant consumer brands, take a look at our newest free report on three American companies ready to rule the world. Nike's on the list, and the others have also been rewarding shareholders for many years, with many more to come. Find out everything you need to know -- claim your free copy of this important report now.
Fool contributor Alex Planes holds no financial position in any company mentioned here. Add him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter @TMFBiggles for more news and insights. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Nike, Deckers Outdoor, and Skechers USA; and creating a diagonal call position in Nike.
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