In the last quarter, shares of Deckers Outdoors (DECK) - Get Report , currently at $57, fell 17%. From the look of the chart, investors didn't like the last couple of quarters for the footwear maker of Uggs. That's one reason I'm staying on the sidelines for now.
In the last couple of months, Deckers Outdoors shares have been hit hard. During the fourth fiscal 2016 quarter, management guided down the first quarter of 2017 as well as the entire year.
In October, Deckers missed the second quarter. The company reported earnings of $1.21 per share, 2 cents better than expected. Revenue fell 0.2% to $485.9 million, which was below the analyst estimate of $495.7 million. Gross margin was 44.5%.
Then the company cut the third quarter and, for good measure, management chopped year-end guidance again. Talk about UGG!
So as it stands now, Deckers sees third-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings to $4.16 to $4.28 per share from $4.05 to $4.40. Analysts were at $4.59. Revenue is expected to be flat or down 2%, or $779.9 million to $795.9 million, versus the previous consensus estimate of $803.33 million.
For the full year, management forecasts revenue down 1.55 to 3%, or $1.82 billion to 1.84 billion. Gross margin is expected to be in the range between 47% to 47.5%.
Despite all the estimate cuts, for the year to date the stock is up about 22% for the year. The company has cleaned out its entire excess inventory (inventory is down 3% year over year) of old styles and has a series of new products that could restart growth.
The company is launching the "Classic 2," which is an update of its Classic women's boot. The new boot features water resistance, improved traction and better durability. The company has also introduced 9 new color schemes such as Jazz Green, Navy and Stormy Grey.
Sales for the HOKA brand of hiking and running shoe were up 39%, while Sanuk sandals grew 9.2%. Teva sport sandals sales declined 4.5%.
Fiscal 2017 was a rebuilding year. While retailers are still cautious, Deckers could return to growth next year. Analysts expect fiscal 2018 revenue to grow between 3-4% to $1.89 billion. With clean inventory, new products and 15 new outlet stores planned, earnings could be up 9-10%. Same store sales could rebound from -1% in fiscal 2016 to 3-4% in 2018.
When shoe brands are hot, the stocks can really run. For example, Wolverine (WWW) - Get Report leads the pack in the footwear category. Year to date the stock is up 31%, but would have been up more if the company didn't miss the quarter.
I'm cautiously optimistic that Deckers can reboot its growth. The company's brands are still popular and the new products could kick things into high gear. However, I'll stay on the sidelines until it becomes clear Deckers is no longer limping into the holidays.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.