Crocs is reportedly considering new strategic options, including the sale of the company to new investors, after its failure to take the company out of the stock exchange with the help of a private equity fund.
With its earnings projected to fall by more than 50 percent this year to around $65 million as compared to 2012 - well below the peak of $168 million reached in 2007 - analysts feel that Crocs would be valued at around $1.6 billion at the most in a transaction.
The company expects to make a loss in the fourth quarter, and the results recently released for its third quarter ended Sept. 30 were not great. The company posted net income of $13.0 million in the quarter, down from $45.1 million in the third quarter of last year. When adjusted for the impact of the $3.1 million relating to the implementation of a new ERP system including non-cash accelerated depreciation and cash expenses for program management, training and other non-capitalized costs, the company had adjusted net income of $16.1 million in the quarter.
Gross profit for the latest quarter was down to 53.2 as a percentage of sales from 54.4 percent in the third quarter of 2012, primarily due to lower wholesale and internet revenues in the Americas and Japan.
Crocs registered revenues of $288.5 million in the period, down slightly from revenues of $295.6 million in the third quarter of 2012. On a constant-currency basis, revenues increased by 0.9 percent for the quarter. The Colorado-based footwear company saw strong performance in the Asia-Pacific region and marked improvement in Europe, but its performance in these regions was counterbalanced by weakness in the Americas and Japan, where all sales channels performed below expectations.
The under-performance was especially acute in the Americas, where results were impacted by wholesale accounts trimming at-once orders to remain lean on inventory coupled with weak consumer confidence affecting the company's performance at the consumer-direct level. Revenues in the Americas dropped by 11 percent in the quarter on a currency-neutral basis, going down to $116.19 million, due to a “tepid” back-to-school season. In Japan, the revenues were equal to $38.98 million, down by 3.4 percent from the same quarter last year on a constant-currency basis.
Turning the corner, sales in Europe increased by 30.2 percent to $53.90 million. in terms of dollars, with increases of 20.9 percent at the wholsale level and 64.4 percent at retail. The brand's new winter boots and other closed-toe silhouettes sold well. In the Asia-Pacific region, they were up by 9.5 percent to $79.40 million.
On Oct. 29, 2013, the company's board of directors approved the repurchase of up to an additional 15 million shares under the company's existing stock repurchase authorization. This brings the total shares available for repurchase by the company to around 17.8 million, or around 20 percent of the common outstanding shares at Sept. 30, 2013. The number, price and timing of repurchases will be at the company's discretion, based on market conditions, liquidity needs or other factors. The board may suspend, modify or terminate the program at any time without prior notice.