Saturday, October 13, 2007

Heelys Revisited - Analysis

I published an analysis of Heelys (HLYS) as my blog was in its infancy... about one month ago now.

Over the past month, Heelys' shares did little of anyting - they teetered around in the low $8's, trading up or down a dime every day.

However, on Friday, Heely's shares jumped after they released their Spring 2008 lineup of shoes.

The stock was up 16%, a huge jump compared to the basically-flat performance over the past two months. I don't expect the stock to hold all of it's gains from Friday simply because it was such a dramatic pop on non-major news.

However, I still find Heely's as attractive as I did a month ago. Heres are some data (provided by Yahoo! finance) that demonstrates some of the reasons why I still love Heelys:

Share Statistics
Average Volume (3 month)3:606,689
Average Volume (10 day)3:496,433
Shares Outstanding6:27.06M
% Held by Insiders4:33.52%
% Held by Institutions4:43.70%
Shares Short (as of 25-Sep-07)3:2.35M
Short Ratio (as of 25-Sep-07)3:9.6
Short % of Float (as of 25-Sep-07)3:28.90%
Shares Short (prior month)3:2.43M

The statistic that really screams "POSSIBLE BIG GAIN" to me is the percentage of short shares - a whopping 29% of the float. It would take 5 full trading days to completely cover the short positions.

That, in a nutshell, is why Heelys could be an explosive pick. It could very well do nothing for a long, long time, but when there is substantial positive news about Heelys, a major short squeeze will occur and the price will skyrocket.

After the terrible earnings in the summer that sent the stock plummeting, I think that virtually all bad news has been priced in. Lower orders and estimates are already incorporated into the share price; I think that the current quarter could turn out well since the estimates were revised lower.

All it will take to sent Heelys to $15 is good news and the subsequent short squeeze - say that they beat earnings, or Journeys doubles their order - a natural rise to $11 or $12 may occur, and at that point, many investors who shorted the stock on the way down may scramble to cover positions, increasing the price even further.

Will this happen tomorrow, next week, or next month? Don't count on it. I bought my Heelys position around $8.7, and I wouldn't be surprised if it stays priced between $8-$10 for a substantial period of time. However, since Heelys has virtually no long-term debt or obligations, I think the company will regain footing after the retailer's current inventory clears out, and then it will be all good things for the company.

Lastly, another thing to always consider is the possibility of a buyout. Heely's current market cap is about $250 million, which is very doable for Nike (market cap - $31 billion), Adidas, or even Crocs ($5+ billion). I'm not necessarily predicting a buyout, but for a big apparel company, acquiring a growing, popular niche brand like Heelys could be a very attractive investment.

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