The Alexa website (a company that tracks web traffic), shows that traffic for UGG is way above last year's. Whereas UGG web traffic always falls steadily after its peak just before Christmas until it hits its summer low, this year it has climbed during the month of February and has still not begun to decline. Obviously this is a result of the cold weather. And it bodes well for earnings this quarter and for restocking orders in the fall.
Why are you so optimistic about Hoka? I am just curious to know what you know.
Also, you are surely right that people don't know that Hoka is a DECK brand. Not long ago I talked to a woman who was running in Hokas, and I asked her how she liked them. She was very enthusiastic, and said she wished it were possible to invest in the company, but unfortunately they don't have stock. Needless to say, I educated her.
Zohar Ziv, the outgoing COO, announced his retirement about a year ago. He agreed to continue as a consultant until a replacement could be found. He even participated in at least one conference call after his announcement. So a new COO has no negative significance. However, it is interesting that the new COO is a lawyer with a lot of merger and acquisitions experience. This could be a hint about how he will spend some of his time. DECK remains interested in acquiring more companies.
As I recall, DECK was badly shaken in late November 2011 when Sam Poser of Sterne Agee said that his information indicated that UGG sales were weak. He even gave at least one interview (that I saw) reiterating his report. And Poser is probably the most respected analyst of footwear stocks. It looked to him like the end of the UGG "fad," the great bugaboo that has always haunted and depressed the share price of DECK. The next earnings call included other red flags, such as worrisome information about a huge increase in the price of sheepskin and handwringing about the mild winter weather. So the stock went into a free fall, which eventually proved to be an overreaction. The stock then rebounded very powerfully, but did not quite get back to its all-time high.
The recent decline seems also to have resulted from some kind of report about weak sales -- a report that at least one analyst has discounted as marginal and inconsistant with his/her information. That analyst believes this is a buying opportunity. The fad fear seems to be alive and well. Yet UGG sales seemingly continue to boom, and the company is growing in other areas as well (such as Sanuk, Teva, and Hoka One One).
For nice discussion of the rapid rise of Hoka, including the move into hiking boots, Google this story: "Fast-Growing Hoka One One looks to go beyond niche."
Very welcome news for any long-term DECK investor, and another reason to be grateful for the management we have, especially Angel Martinez.
Correction: It was about three years ago -- not two years ago -- that I sold a chunk of shares, and about two years ago that I bought back even more at an average price of about 37. Sorry I was a bit hasty, and did not properly check the dates.
Not sure what it says that I am a long-term holder? What it says is that I have enjoyed enormous gains in this stock by refusing to be influenced by what I have viewed as meaningless short-term fluctuations. I did, however, have the good fortune sell a lot of shares about two years ago when the news on the company was somewhat worrisome, and I had the further good fortune to buy back even more shares at an average of 37 about a year after that. But over the longer term I have rarely panicked, and I now own more shares than I have ever owned. As I have said, I am confident that DECK will rise above 100. But of course I could be wrong.
For what it is worth from a long-time owner of DECK shares: Don't expect the stock to behave in what you view as a rational fashion. Lots of things inflluence short-term movements of the stock price, even when all signs point to very good earnings. For example, it is my impression that for quite a while now (months), retail-related stocks have been suffering selling and other negativity from large investors, such as hedge funds and institutions. Look at Under Armour, for example. It has gone nowhere for months, yet its sales are booming. So keep the faith if you believe in DECK, and do not sell prematurely. I believe that now is a good time to buy DECK, and I am confident it will be rising well above 100. As you note, DECK is very strong today (unlike UA) in the face of a horrendous downturn in the larger market. This suggests that a bit of rationality might be creeping back to DECK's share price.
Jimmach: Many thanks for the view from S. Korea. Very interesting.
I agree that Zappos sales look unusually strong.
Read some extremely enthusiastic reviews of HOKAs today, too -- in Zappos. Lots of revenue will be coming from that stream.
As you can guess, I am a longtime long, and I strongly view my strategy as the way to make big money in in this company. It's a great company, and patience will win out.
Best for the holidays!
I simply want to report that the data I use to monitor UGG sales are all the more impressive now than when I last mentioned the subject on this message board. I will mention, in particular, that as of a few minutes ago, UGG styles held the number 1, 4, 7, and 10 spots for the best-selling footwear for all catégories combined (men, women, and children) at Amazon. An astonishing number of other styles also have very high sales ranks.
I have followed DECK sales for many years, and have never seen such sales volume as I am seeing this year. If my indications are correct, this quarter will blow away the company and analyst sales and earnings estimates. So, barring a huge and broad market downturn, I expect DECK stock to enjoy a very large gain during the next two months.
I would appreciate any acecdotal évidence about sales that anyone can provide. It would be a lot more useful than garbage about Jim Cramer and the brilliant CEO Angel Martinez, who has guided DECK to such amazing success during the past nearly ten years.
Doc: I don't really see the value of a debate about Cramer. Despite my admiration for him as a person (as I previously noted), he is almost completely irrelevant to me. I only watch him when a video of him pertains to a stock I follow and shows up on Yahoo!. And in any case I would never follow a recommendation by anyone, absent my own study of the company. His main relevance to me is his possible short-term impact on the prices of stocks I follow.
I will only add that what you call "forward vision" sounds close to what I call creativity (in the context of the stock market). I believe that creativity is not adequately appreciated as an important element in investing. And I am not able to assess Cramer's degree of creativity. If he has very much creativity in the stock market, I'm not sure it would be evident on his show, given its time horizon (which I mentioned earlier).
Doc: I don't really see how it is possible to evaluate Jim Cramer's "forward vision," as you call it -- though concevably you are right. As I effectively said once before on this board, the problem with trying to evaluate Cramer's ability to assess the future is that his whole program is geared neither to a long-range nor a short, trading-range perspective on stocks. The object is to assess the value of stocks for the intermediate term -- a matter of months at most rather than years or days (much less hours). Without that intermediate term perspective, his program would be impossible. He would name his stocks to hold ten or more years, and then there would be nothing else to say -- and no "Mad Money" show. Or he would give his short-term trading advice, and there would be no appropriate audience for it. He gives people what they want: stocks for the intermediate term. But as you seem to know, the way to make huge money in the stock market is not the intermediate but the long term. You buy a stock whose long-range future looks very promising, and then you hold it until that long-range future seems to dim. So I think it is unfair to criticize Cramer for not doing something his program is not, and cannot be, designed to address. But maybe you were making a different point that I have failed to address. As I hope you know, I respect your thinking about stocks. (Note: I reposted this because it seemed otherwise unknowable that I posted it the first time.) Less
Doc: I don't really see how it is possible to evaluate Jim Cramer's "forward vision," as you call it -- though concevably you are right. As I effectively said once before on this board, the problem with trying to evaluate Cramer's ability to assess the future is that his whole program is geared neither to a long-range nor a short, trading-range perspective on stocks. The object is to assess the value of stocks for the intermediate term -- a matter of months at most rather than years or days (much less hours). Without that intermediate term perspective, his program would be impossible. He would name his stocks to hold ten or more years, and then there would be nothing else to say -- and no "Mad Money" show. Or he would give his short-term trading advice, and there would be no appropriate audience for it. He gives people what they want: stocks for the intermediate term. But as you seem to know, the way to make huge money in the stock market is not the intermediate but the long term. You buy a stock whose long-range future looks very promising, and then you hold it until that long-range future seems to dim. So I think it is unfair to criticize Cramer for not doing something his program is not, and cannot be, designed to address. But maybe you were making a different point that I have failed to address. As I hope you know, I respect your thinking about stocks.
Doc: For the record, I do not have the view that anyone should choose stocks on the basis of what Jim Cramer recommends. Of course he is often wrong, as is virtually any professional who recommends stocks for purchase or sale. My point is merely that Jim Cramer is an amazingly intelligent, knowledgeable, and energetic human being -- far superior to the vast majority of other humans on the planet. Only those who have never known the kind of ability and work required to achieve anything significant (such as Cramer has achieved in his life, from his student days forward) could possibly show contempt for Jim Cramer. Apart from his stock picks, Jim Cramer is a kind of superhuman most people rarely encounter in their everyday lives.
Today for the first time the UGG Classic Short is the top-selling women's shoe at Zappo's (the largest online shoe retailer in the world). This is a very early date for UGG to reach this level of sales -- the earliest I've ever seen -- and bodes very well for this quarter. Also, web traffic for UGGs is well ahead of last year's level at this time, which also bodes very well for this quarter. Obviously the early cold weather is part of the story, but I doubt if it fully accounts for this big surge of interest in the brand.
Does anyone else have any pertinent sales information -- on UGG or any other DECK brand? Each year I ask for sales information, but no one ever provides any. Yet this is the most important information for the creative investor.
Advisorydoc: My relative bought thé équivalent of 3,000 shares back then -- at a cost of $30,000. As you can see, those shares would now be worth over a quarter of a million dollars. But I've made simular mistakes -- not by selling prematurely but by failing to buy stocks my instincts told me to buy. (By thé way, I don't know why my messages are appearing in French, with inappropriée accents on thé "e's." I don't know how to stop it. Also, I apologize for leaving thé word "hé" out of my sentence about why many people hate Cramer. I meant to say "many hate Cramer because hé IS so successful.")
Advisorydoc: I wonder if you owned DECK years ago when Jim Cramer came on his show wearing UGG boots to sing thé praises of DECK. At that time, DECK was thé équivalent of $10 per share. I already owned it, but his présentation convinced a relative of mine (who had previously ignored me) to buy some. However, thé relative foolishly sold it when it went down a few points (against my advice).
Cramer has recommended DECK on a number of occasions.
Cramer cannot always be right, of course, but his brilliance and energy level never cease to amaze me. As you know, however, hé is continually attacked and slandered by countless mediocrities who have never achieved anything in their own lives and cannot identify a superior human being when they see one. Indeed, many hate Cramer because IS so successful. Would that they had one percent of his brainpower, ambition, and energy. The world would be richer, in more ways than one.