Friday, May 27, 2011

SKX and slow inventory turnover

Skechers USA, Inc. (NYSE:SKX)
The two well-known issues with this stock are:
Issue no#  1
    1) A new lawsuit alleges that Skecher's Shape-up shoes can cause serious injuries. Another concern is that these shoes are being specifically targeted towards young girls who have self-esteem and body image issues. There is also some concern that these "toner shoes" are ineffective. 
In their 10K Risk Factors there is a description:
    It Is Difficult To Predict The Effect Of Regulatory Inquiries About Advertising And Promotional Claims Related To Our Products In The Fitness Footwear Market.
It continues in the Legal Section:
    We are currently responding to requests for information regarding our claims and advertising from regulatory and quasi-regulatory agencies in several countries throughout the world and are cooperating with such requests. While we believe that our claims and advertising are supported by tests, medical opinions and other relevant data and we have been successful in defending our claims and advertising in several different countries, in light of these regulatory requests, we frequently review and update our claims and advertising. It is too early to predict the outcome of the ongoing inquiries and whether such an outcome will have a material effect on our advertising, promotional claims, business, results of operations or financial position.
Controversy for the Greenberg Family was not shied away from in their earlier pursuits. I seem to remember L. A. Gear was flamboyant also.

Mr. Robert Greenberg has been the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Skechers USA Inc. since October 1993. From 1979 to 1992, Mr. Greenberg served as the Chairman of the Board, Chief Operating Officer and President of L.A. Gear Inc., which he founded in 1979.

Michael Greenberg has been the President and a Director of Skechers Usa Inc. since its inception in 1992, and from June 1992 to October 1993, he was Chairman of the Board.

Robert Greenberg started Skechers in 1992 after he left LA Gear, which he also founded.  Skechers makes an effort to maintain a trendy and stylish brand image by using celebrity-driven advertising. Many Skechers shoe designs are copies of other shoe designs with very good marketing.

How do you determine if inventory is slowing down?
Issue no# 2
    2) A slow inventory turnover has been increasingly blamed on competition and customer order cancellations. Margins are down and inventory is up.

SKX has four reportable segments — domestic wholesale sales, international wholesale sales, retail sales, which includes domestic and international retail sales, and e-commerce sales. They evaluate segment performance based primarily on net sales and gross margins. The largest portion of their revenue is derived from the domestic wholesale segment.
Approximately 44% of their domestic wholesale revenues as a percentage of net sales are affected by the slow down. Approximately 19% of their retail segment is affected.

Although the "toning shoes" trend has only been around since 2009, the seasonality seems to be
    "mainly a ‘white shoe’, toning has a seasonal peak through Spring and early summer and a huge peak around Xmas."
Alright, so I have three forecast on the of the relief to inventory.
The first one is dated from the second quarter of last year.
1) They confirmed what the market already priced, that...planning was a disaster by both retailers and SKX and Shape-up orders have been cancelled or pushed back and inventory will not be balanced until end of 1st quarter. Company has seriously p off the analysts, so some will lose interest in this stock and stop marketing [it] to clients. Lack of transparency. [This] will result in a lower multiple than industry.

A more recent analysis says:
2) The company claims it'll have made significant progress by the third or fourth quarter....
and continues:
3) However, based on management's past track record, I think we'll really know after the holiday season, which puts us into the first or second quarter of 2012. At that point, the future of "Shape-Ups" and their bloated inventory – one way or another – will have played out.

1 comment:

  1. Note: analysts have begun to see that due to the current recovery-slowdown, inventories across the economy are rising faster than customers can (or will) deplete them. This is especially problematic for retail-oriented manufacturers, and is a situation that landed many of them in hot water back in 2007-2008 timeframe.