Skechers issues a release! WoW!

Boy, this sure emphasizes how correct my comments were yesterday about the idiocy of the sell-off!

“We respect the SportScan data released every Wednesday on the footwear business, but when not looked at in its entirety or analyzed over periods of time, and understanding that some key accounts—including Amazon, Zappos, Kohl’s and Finish Line/Macy’s, are not currently reporting and are projected based on the balance of the sector, the data can be misinterpreted or skewed,” began David Weinberg, SKECHERS COO and CFO.

Mr. Weinberg continued: “As BRG reported, for the week ending September 20, 2014, SKECHERS sales were down 3 percent, but improved 19 percent for the trailing four weeks and 33 percent for the trailing 13 weeks. What BRG didn’t report is that the week ending September 30 is one of the three smallest weeks of the year, according to SportScan, who also indicated to us that their analysis of the data shows that we are continuing to take market share and that footwear retailers remain confident in our product.”

“With a deeper dive and channel checks conducted which is always recommended, the results would be more conclusive. As indicated by SportScan and our retail partners, we are continuing to take market share. We have seen only one material decrease in our kids business in one account in the South due to a significant planned decrease in the number of doors, though our business in the existing doors remains strong,” Weinberg added. “This is already the biggest booking third quarter in the history of the Company with an over 50 percent increase from third quarter of last year, and the SKECHERS retail stores continue to show positive comp store increases on top of significant retail store comp increases last year. Given channel checks, SKECHERS retail performance, our incoming order rate which leads us to an increased backlog worldwide, we remain confident that our domestic and international business is strong, that our brand continues to be in demand, and that our product and marketing resonate with consumers around the world.”

Additional reports issued on September 24, 2014 about SKECHERS market position included the following statements:

Sterne Agee
Business is healthy as evidenced by high teens ASP increase: The deceleration in the last week was largely relegated to the mid-tier department store channel, where SKX sales declined 20.5% in the last week versus +10.4% for the last 4 weeks. We do not believe there is a brand/product issue here, as shown by the 19% ASP increase within the channel. If there was a product/brand issue, department stores would be promoting the product in a very aggressive fashion. We believe that retailers likely ran out of inventory after the strong start of back to school. We remind investors that in recent quarters, SKX management has put a great emphasis on lean inventory levels and “starving the customer.” The deceleration in the mid-tier department store channel was even greater for the EPS overall footwear category, where sales declined 23% in the last week versus +2% for the last 4 weeks.

Susquehanna Financial Group, LLLP
Skechers Demand is Outstripping Supply. With the devil in the details, we noticed overall units were down -20.2% while ASPs were up +21.1% this week. We believe this signals that retailers are short inventory following a strong back-to-school season (BTS). Recall BTS (7/20-9/13) saw stronger than expected growth (+36.5%) and given the likely lack of product thereafter, this likely accentuated the historically normal fall-off in sales post-BTS that the brand usually experiences. Importantly, this is supported by our conversations with key retailers, SportScan and SKX. As a reminder, we note that SportScan only tracks ~25% of SKX global sales, in which we believe the other 75% is trending very well, particularly international. Overall, we believe the story is very much on track.

Citi Research
By category, SportScan data indicates that Skechers continued to post positive growth in the walking, work/utility, training/fitness, boots, and sandal categories, while casual athletic posted a -5% decline and dress/comfort casual was also weaker. By channel, SKX continued to post positive growth in all major channels ex-Mid-Tier Department Stores, with Family Footwear up +6%, Discount/Mass +66%, and Athletic Specialty/Sporting Goods up +15% y/y.

While Wunderlich did not issue a report, the firm’s analyst Danielle McCoy was quoted in Investor’s Business Daily on September 24, 2014 as follows: “‘We don’t think this is worrisome. I believe Skechers is still a very solid brand — one of the key winners this back-to-school season.’ McCoy said that comparing the most recent week to the trailing four weeks ‘is not comparable,’ since August is the largest back-to-school selling month.”