Beware of cute ticker symbols. When Oakley(NYSE: OO) went public back in 1995, it was clever in singling out a ticker symbol resembling one of the spec maker's pricey sunglasses. But today, it's Wall Street that's mouthing those same two letters, in a fit of fiscal rage. The company announced it would miss its 2002 targets, dramatically.

The future isn't looking too bright for Oakley. With sales growth coming in lower than expected, the company now sees third-quarter profits coming at just $0.16 a share. Back in July, Oakley figured it would be good for about $0.27-a-stub in earnings for the period. The company is also hosing down its fourth-quarter outlook.

While the market trounced the stock today, reacting as if in a state of shock, not everyone was fooled. Back in April, our own Matt Richey pointed out Oakley's troubling trends of growing receivables faster than growing the top line and posting hefty inventory levels. While his cash flow concerns may not have been the sum of the company's recent undoing, it certainly served up some hearty warning signs.

All hope is not lost. Sales are moving in the right direction, and the brand remains as viable as it does popular. But that's not enough if the results don't bleed down to the bottom line. Oakley spokesman and board member Michael Jordan may have been a Bull in Chicago, but it was the bears that scored this last shot on the company.