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June 3, 2010





  • In the first of what we expect to be a more common trend across retail, Quicksilver decided to remit annual guidance after reporting improved 2Q results. Following expectations for 2011 EBITDA to be flat with 2010 results in Q1, management commented that it didn’t want to focus on the short-term outlook, but instead confirm that ZQK on track to achieve its longer term plan – 5-year that is. To some extent, we have to tip our hat to management for not trying to pretend to know how the 2H is going to play out, but the reality here is that similar to ’08, the spread between expectations and actual year end results is likely to get wider.
  • Despite taking down the back half of the year, Vera Bradley announced an important strategic move on its 1Q call in entering the department store channel by partnering with Dillards. With less than 40 retail/outlet stores, VRA currenly relies heavily on its more than 3,300 independent retailers for distribution. The initial launch at DDS will be in 65 doors and could grow to be as many as 300, but more importantly will lay the foundation for additional partnerships and geographic expansion – something investors are clearly banking on with the stock trading nearly 30x next year’s numbers.



Groupon Files S-1 - Groupon Inc., the fast-growing purveyor of online deals distributed through e-mails and social networking, Thursday took the first steps towards an initial public offering. The firm filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission of its intent to go public. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse are to be the lead underwriters of the IPO, the date for which hasn’t been set. Some published estimates put the amount to be raised at close to $1 billion. Without disclosing the number of shares to be offered or their price, the Chicago-based company said in the statement that it offers more than 1,000 daily deals to 83 million subscribers in 43 countries and has “sold to date over 70 million Groupons,” according to an introductory letter from Andrew Mason, the firm’s chief executive officer. Among these offers was one in August 2010 in which $50 of apparel from Gap was available for $25. The Groupon was made available to 9.2 million subscribers in 85 North American markets. “We sold approximately 433,000 Groupons in 24 hours, generating over $10.8 million in revenue,” the SEC filing said, adding that since the Gap discount, it’s also featured deals with Nordstrom Inc. The filing didn’t reveal how Groupon’s business broke down by merchandise type or retail channel, but its operating statement revealed that revenues, just $94,000 in its abbreviated first year in business in 2008, mushroomed to $30.5 million in 2009 and then exploded last year, reaching $713.4 million. <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: An opportunistic filing in the wake of LinkedIn’s recent IPO success. The company doesn’t even have a date yet, but one look at the financials and it’s easy to see why they were so eager to share. Yes, the company has grown exponentially off a very small base in just two years, but more impressive is the fact that it just booked 90% of last year’s revs in the 1Q alone. We don’t expect the company to wait long before coming public, but for now they’ve certainly stolen the spotlight of pending IPOs.


JNY Acquires Footwear Brand - The Jones Group Inc.’s hands-across-the-water acquisition of U.K. footwear brand Kurt Geiger strengthens both companies’ global footprints and gives the buyer serious clout in the luxury sector. Jones closed on the acquisition early Thursday, paying $350 million in cash, inclusive of debt, to U.K.-based private equity firm Graphite Capital and to members of the firm’s management who held minority stakes. The deal weds two companies already familiar with each other. Geiger, Europe’s largest luxury shoe retailer, has been the distribution partner for Jones’ Nine West brand in the U.K. since 2009. “Strategically, this enhances our distribution and presence internationally,” said Wes Card, chief executive officer of Jones. The acquisition, which gives Geiger entree to the U.S. and Jones a platform in Europe, was financed with cash on hand and is accretive to second-quarter earnings. The existing Kurt Geiger management team, led by ceo Neil Clifford, will remain with the business. Card said the initial plan is to open more Kurt Geiger stores in the U.K., as well as bring the brand to the U.S. through freestanding stores and, through wholesale arrangements, department stores. Asked about store openings, Clifford said, “I can’t be specific, but we’d be disappointed not to start opening in 2012. We’ve already done quite a lot of thinking, and we’ve got a plan.” About 75 percent of Kurt Geiger’s business is women’s footwear, with the balance in men’s, a new market for Jones, and licensing. Card said the firm is still in the hunt for acquisitions and won’t limit its next deals to footwear, even though it now has a “powerful group of companies in the footwear industry.” <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Come on. This may have been an all cash deal, but the company still hasn’t paid off the remaining 45% due on the Weitzman deal at the end of 2012 and they just spent what cash they had. Moreover, the fact that CEO Card is looking to lever up even further in search of additional growth is downright scary.


June a Busy Month for Italian Luxury IPOs - Luxury firms are reporting brisk business in the first quarter and the outlook for the remainder of the year is bright. With these underpinnings, Italy’s three luxury initial public offerings are quickly taking shape and valuations of the firms are surging by the day. Salvatore Ferragamo’s listing on the Milan Stock Exchange is expected by the end of the month, with the road show kicking off in London on June 13, according to sources, who say joint lead manager Banca IMI-Intesa Sanpaolo Group values the Florence-based firm at 2.25 billion euros, or $3.23 billion at current exchange. Until now, sources said Ferragamo’s IPO could value the company at around 1.5 billion euros, or $2.1 billion. Mediobanca and J.P. Morgan will act as global coordinators and joint book runners. Italian fashion house Prada, whose IPO is expected to kick off on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on June 23 or 24, plans to sell 423.3 million shares, or 16.5 percent of its capital, following a capital increase, said sources on Wednesday. As reported, Banca IMI-Intesa Sanpaolo Group, which owns 5.1 percent of Prada and is one of the banks leading the IPO, estimates Prada may be valued at 10.7 billion euros, or $15 billion at current exchange, according to a source. Until recently, analysts have said the IPO could value the company at up to $9.5 billion. The road show will kick off June 6 in Singapore, followed by Hong Kong, London and Milan, and will end in New York. On Wednesday, sources also said Banca IMI values Moncler, which got the green light to proceed with its listing on the Milan Stock Exchange this week, at 1.28 billion euros, or $1.84 billion. Moncler is expected to float more than 50 percent of the company by the end of the month. Banca IMI, BofA Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley International will act as global coordinators. Banca IMI will also be in charge of the IPO and act as sponsor. <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Notice a trend here? In addition to a collective sprint to market before the 2H, leading banks on these offerings are consistently valuing the companies well above pre-existing levels, no surprise there.


Samsonite IPO - Luggage maker Samsonite International S.A. stands to raise between $1.16 billion and $1.51 billion in an initial public offer later this month. The company made its ipo prospectus available Friday via the Hong Kong Stock Exchange website. The company said it plans to offer 671.24 million shares.The indicative price range for the shares is 13.50 Hong Kong dollars, or $1.74, to 17.50 Hong Kong dollars, or $2.25, or per share. Based on that range, the company will raise between 9.06 billion Hong Kong dollars and 11.75 billion Hong Kong dollars. The bulk of those proceeds will go directly to Samsonite's current shareholders, which include CVC Capital Partners, and the remainder will be used to pay off the company's debts. Samsonite, which is listing in Hong Kong the same month as Italian luxury goods house Prada, said it expects to announce the official offer price by June 15 and for its shares to commence trade on June 16. The company said its 2010 adjusted EBITDA more than doubled to $191.9 million and its sales rose 18.1 percent to $1.22 billion. <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: Little known fact – back in the 1960s, the company manufactured and distributed Legos in North America under a licensing agreement establishing the brand in the U.S. before abandoning its toy business in the 70s. After paying $1.7Bn in 2007 for 60% of the company and then another $175mm to RBC to retain the controlling stake in 2009, CVC would just about break even if the deal comes through at the high end of the range, a considerably better fate than it faced back in ’09.


New Nike Action Sports Campaign - Nike Inc. is launching a new campaign, entitled "The Chosen," that is Nike's largest effort targeting action sports and its first global 'Just Do It' campaign featuring a pantheon of action sports stars.. According to a statement from Nike, the centerpiece of the campaign is a film featuring skate legend Paul Rodriguez (P-Rod), Olympic snowboarder Danny Kass, surf prodigies Julian Wilson and Laura Enever.  The film was shot all over the world at night and features lighting and pyrotechnics reminiscent of a live rock concert. Throughout the course of the campaign, Nike will be conducting global grassroots events providing athletes an opportunity to participate in the sports featured in the film. "'The Chosen' represents a new voice for Just Do It, a passing of the torch to the next generation of sports heroes," said Davide Grasso, Nike's vice president of global brand marketing. "This is a defining moment for Nike Action Sports as we evolve this iconic campaign to bring it to new audiences, in new ways around the world." <SportsOneSource>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: All part of Nike’s plan to double the Action Sports business over the next 5-years. Before we get too excited let’s keep in mind the business currently accounts for less than 2% of total sales. The spot will air during the NBA finals on Sunday and in cinemas over the July 4th weekend for those interested.


Japanese Luxury Market Forecast Suggests Strong Rebound - Japane’s luxury goods market is expected to resume its pre-earthquake sales figures, according to consultancy firm McKinsey & Co.  The company conducted a survey of more than 1,300 consumers and 25 senior business executives to ascertain the impact of the recent natural disaster on the luxury goods sector. Around 60 per cent of business leaders forecast that luxury sales would either plateau or improve in 2011 compared to last year, while 85 per cent of respondents were optimistic that the market would improve in the longer term. The report also highlighted why consumers opt to buy premium products, with 28 per cent doing so as a "treat", 41 per cent citing their durability and 20 per cent of respondents noting their improved overall quality compared to standard products. <WWD>

Hedgeye Retail’s Take: One of the more aggressive forecasts we’ve seen given that the tsunami had an annualized MSD impact on sales not accounting for sales lost due to lower consumer sentiment after the initial impact.