Friday, November 03, 2006

Shoe Business

Hi folks. I haven't been around much this week cause I've been lost in deadline world. A bunch of companies reported this week. I'm going to try and run through them very quickly and give my thoughts on how Wall Street responded to their earnings. Please do note that I'm not pretending to be Mrs. Cramer. There's a lot of shit I don't know or understand about how Wall Street works, but I figured I would share what I do know because like I said before it interests me and also because I like the idea of translating this info so it's not as scary for people. There's nothing particularly special or smart about people who make their living off the stock market. It's just a matter of getting to know the space like anything else.

A quick note for people who don't follow Wall Street: The first Thursday of the month is usually a big day for retailers to report numbers. Not every company reports their numbers on a monthly basis (more often it's once every three months), but for those who do, that's the day they do it.

Crocs: You may love to hate those crazy plastic clogs, but judging from the companies 3Q (third-quarter) earnings, you're the only one who hasn't bought a pair. Everything was better than Wall Street expected. Now sometimes a stock that's crazy like Crocs will go down after good news--cause people think it's a fad so they sell with good news, thinking it can't get better, but I think people are starting to think Crocs is going to be around for a minute--in part due to new international sales--so even though the stock went down when it first reported, the next day it went up. Yes, Wall Street is nuts. This I know.

Foot Locker: Overall same-store-sales (that's a comparison of this year's sales versus last year's at stores that have been open a least a year) were down just a tick. Same-store-sales in Europe were way down, but here in the United States, they were positive in all divisions (which includes Champs, Footaction, Foot Locker and Lady Foot). The company's earnings came in below Wall Street expectations, but because there are rumors out there that a private investment company is thinking about buying it (which, if that happens, the price of the stock will likely go up to match the agreed selling price), the stock only went down a little.

Steve Madden: It reported earlier this week. Sales were through the roof and much better than Wall Street expected. As well, the company raised guidance (aka said it would make more in the future than it previously announced) going forward. Problem was, its orders were less than Wall Street wanted and since then the stock has gone down. I would go into why I think this happened(though part of it--I swear--is for no other reason than they just feel like being mean), but I still have a bunch of deadlines and I can't do that today. Next time I swear.

Zumiez: This action-sports retailer's same-store sales were up close to 16%, which is pretty good considering it was up against an increase of 10% during the same period last year. Zumiez is a smallish company so maybe that's why I didn't see any Wall Street expectations versus what it reported. In any case, the stock has gone up since it reported so someone must have been happy with its results.

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