Fidelity Loses $50 Million In Seconds On Its Brand Spanking New Investment, As Crocs Plunges On Guidance Cut: 2007 Redux?

To anyone who is neither too young to recall, nor just got their first ever Bloomberg terminal a few days ago, CROX holds a special place in the heart since this perpetual momo stock, was without doubt the best coincident indicator of the market top back in 2007: the stock peaked just two weeks after the all time high in the S&P in October of 2007, only to collapse and never recover. Lightning may just have struck twice. Following an announcement that CROX cut guidance from $0.40, which was also the street's consensus, down to $0.31-0.33, the stock was halted for 30 minutes, only to reopen and plunge as much as 38% lower. The biggest loser? Not Paulson (for once), but Fidelity, which as the following chart from CapIq shows, decided to add 6.3 million shares in the Q2 quarter (having held nothing before), making it the second biggest holder. Oh well. There goes $50 million and some analyst's job. The biggest question, whether CROX part two is the same market peak signal that is was back in 2007 remains to be answered.

From the guidance cut:

For the third quarter of 2011, the Company now expects revenue to be in the range of $273.0 to $275.0 million, an increase of approximately 27% over the $215.6 million of revenue reported in the third quarter last year. This compares to the Company’s previous guidance for third quarter 2011 revenue of $280.0 million. For the third quarter 2011, the Company now expects diluted earnings per share to be between $0.31 and $0.33 compared to its previous guidance of diluted earnings per share of $0.40.


John McCarvel, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “Our business in Asia has continued to perform very well on the strength of our new product introductions. After a very positive response to our spring / summer 2011 product line in the Americas, we experienced some softness in our consumer direct channel in kiosk and outlet locations. Gross margins on a consolidated basis were slightly lower in the quarter than our initial expectations driven in part by lower direct sales as a percentage of total revenue.


“While we are disappointed with this guidance revision, we are very pleased with our year-to-date performance and believe that the Crocs brand has never been stronger,” continued Mr. McCarvel. “We remain focused on further penetrating new footwear categories and committed to building our market presence during the fall and holiday seasons. Looking ahead, based on current trends, we believe that fourth quarter revenue will grow in the low teen range on a percentage basis over the same period a year ago.


Mr. McCarvel concluded, “We are very pleased with the 30% increase in our wholesale backlog at the end of the third quarter which comes on top of a 37% increase a year ago. Building on recent product successes, we are expanding our translucent, Crocs chameleon, and sneaker collections as we head into Spring 2012. Impacted by macro economic headwinds in Europe, growth in our European business has slowed in Q3 and Q4 and is also evident in our spring/summer backlog for 2012. The solid backlog growth rate in Americas and Asia, provides key long-term building blocks to benefit from our increasing product breadth. In addition, our balance sheet remains healthy with record levels of cash and quarter end inventory levels that are projected to be down slightly on a sequential basis.”

Somehow we feel many more guidance cuts are in store...

CROX historical:

and top holders:

charts: Bloomberg and CapitalIQ