This may be the easiest bull argument I'll ever make.
You probably don't think so. Defending Crocs
Crocs explained away the blip as the product of foreign expansion and a broadening product line. The market didn't buy it, slamming the shares down sharply when the company's Halloween report proved more trick than treat.
The media was waiting for this day to happen. They'd love nothing better than to slap wheels on Crocs and call it Heelys
Several pundits claimed that the company's guidance disappointed Wall Street. Add that to the inventory-stacking concerns, and battered shareholders headed for the exits.
But there's a side of the story not being told here. Analysts who follow the company religiously marinated in the bothersome quarterly conference call ... then hiked their profit targets!
It's true. Since the company's "disappointing" report, analysts have gone from expecting Crocs to earn $2.52 a share next year to $2.69 a share. And no one can charge these pros with being blindly bullish on Crocs. They have underestimated the company's quarterly earnings every single period since Crocs went public in February 2006.
In other words, this alleged pet rock of a stock still expects to grow earnings at a 35% clip next year, yet it's trading at less than 15 times forward profitability.
Maybe analysts are wrong, even if they have historically erred on the side of conservatism here. Maybe the inventory setback is the end of a trend, even though the company really is expanding aggressively overseas and broadening its product lines, including several different styles of shoes and even clothing items.
You're convinced that I'm wrong. This is 4Kids
Why? Is it because the original shoes were gaudy? I won't argue in favor of Crocs as a fashion statement, but the comfort benefits of its signature croslite resin are hard to ignore. From nurses to chefs, industries that require a lot of time on one's feet have turned to Crocs to develop niche-specific footwear.
If you don't think the company stands a chance in going upmarket with boutique shoes, or making a splash in one-of-a-kind apparel that features a wearable version of croslite, you're denying Crocs the right to prove that it's more than just a one-hit wonder. What if croslite clothing is a performance-apparel breakthrough on the level of Under Armour
After the beating it took the first time around, do you really think that Microsoft
Can the inventory buildup slash margins in a fire sale? Sure. Can that, coupled with the proliferation of cheap knockoffs, sting margins permanently? Perhaps, though analysts expect margins to widen next year. Am I happy with insiders selling their holdings at substantially higher prices? No. However, the stock already has this negativity baked in.
The shares are cheap. The company is misunderstood. I love my two pairs of Crocs. It's the easiest bullish argument to make.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves how Crocs come in collegiate colors, too. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. Microsoft is an Inside Value pick. The Fool's disclosure policy knows that in real life, bulls and crocs don't get along well.