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Stock lessons: IPOs

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First let’s mark Oct 14 2009: Dow 10,000 2.0 (Yahoo Tech-ticker video below)

(did you notice the Yahoo ~~~ in the end, Yahoo became more goofy under Carol)

My topic today is IPO. I have not got much luck from IPO investing (to be more precise, speculating). My lessons are the following:

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Heelys one month after crash

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I normally don’t participating in stock discussion forums. But this one titled “company and stock did not connect” at Google Finance caught my attention a month ago. So I went ahead and commented:

Original comment: why is the good performance of the company disconnected from the horrible performance of the stock? When a company is more profitable than its previous quarter in the previous year, the company is more valuable. Anyone have any ideas?

My comment on Aug 16: The problem with Heelys is its prospect. In stock we not only look at its past, more importantly, we look at its future. With Heelys, the future is not clear (at best), not so good (in reality).

The inventory issue is not isolate problem. Their sales people may have pushed too agressively with the retailers for the “back to school” season. Now their typical strong Xmas sales is at risk.

Continue reading Heelys one month after crash

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Sold the Heelys HLYS

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I placed a market order before the market open. The last time I did something similar is two years ago when the Ninetowns reported that their customers (Chinese goverment) would no longer pay them for the software. They would get a free version instead.

But HLYS did worse in terms of the stock. It closed at 21.99 yesterday, and opened 13.38 this morning. I lost more than $7 per share (bought it 20.95 about two weeks ago).

It seems I haven’t learned my lessons in 2 years. Seriously I felt lucky this time because the gain in other stocks covered the loss. Actually I did made some money on HLYS too (a while ago), today I gave it all back 🙁

Both the CEOs of NINE and HLYS are on my “CEO Hall of Shame” list now. We should all be careful when we put our hard earned money to the stock market: look for good CEOs, real good CEOs.

BTW, I saw 5 analysts downgrade the HLYS today. This time I agree with the analysts.

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Heelys went off track

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Heelys reported a decent second quarter, at the same time it warned its second half will be more challenging. “Challenging” is a polite word, “go off track” is more proper in my mind. So I guess I will take my loss tonight when the market opens.

With Heelys report, all my 6 stocks reported earning. Two winners are CROX and MR; two losers are GSIT and HLYS; SBUX and SNCI did ok. I normally don’t bet on earnings these days; the reason I bet on HLYS was I thought the expectation is already low, and “back to school” seems did well. But…the wheels came off.

So, the lesson for me is, don’t bet on earnings. Especially demaged stocks like HLYS and NINE.

Heelys pic

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Lots of conference call

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I need to listen to the following calls because I hold those stocks.

Today: CROX, I don’t want to speculate on this one…too much buzz lately.

Next week
07/31: SNIC, have no idea.

08/01: SBUX, the expecation is more reasonable this time, I don’t expect block buster quarter but I think they should be OK (better than PNRA, maybe?)

08/02: GSIT, they blew up their very first quarter since IPO last time, hope they don’t disappoint this time. Their biggest customer, Cisco, has been strong lately.

The week after:
08/06: MR, I expect solid growth in the US sales; I have no idea about China.

08/07: HLYS, street expectation is low; they blew last CC because of the secondary offering thing. I expect some upside surprise.

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Got some Heelys again

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Yeah, I know it’s risky, because I’ve been there. But I’m not insane. I think the recent sell off is a bit over done, at least from my store checking: Dick’s Sporting Goods, Finish Line and Sports Authority are displaying new Heelys for “back to school” season. I assume those guys don’t just put there for show, I think they do want to sell the shoes and make money instead.

The company is due to report its Q2 earnings on August 7.

CEO Interview:
Adarsh did an interview with its CEO and posted in his blog. By the way, CEO Mike Staffaroni has worked for LA Gears (a fashion sports shoes co.) in 90s, and hopefully he and his team learned lessons from the boom and bust of LA Gears, and make Heelys a long term success.

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Some interesting numbers

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Heelys sold 5.1 million pairs of its walk/skate shoes in the US during 2006. Note in the US there are about 36 million kids between age of 6 to 14, Heelys’ core customer. In other words, every one out of 7 kids in the US got a pair of Heelys, which sells from $49.99. The question for Heelys is: how far can this go? Can they sell to the other 6 kids? Or can they make the existing customers come back?

As of last quarter, Home Inns (China) has 145 hotels in operation, with average 120 rooms per hotel (total about 18,000 rooms). Home Inns got about 268,000 members, which account for more than 40% of its sales (hotel stay). To make it simple, about 7,200 (= 18,000 * 40%) is reserved for the members. A quarter has 90 days, so there is 7,200 * 90 = 648,000 room nights. So on average each member stayed 2.5 (= 648,000/268,000) nights in Home Inns last quarter.

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Heelys: get ready for school season

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It appears Heelys is well prepared to the new school season. The other day I saw FinishLine has put the Heelys by the front entrance. Today I saw Sports Authority, and Dick’s Sporting Goods have new Heelys on display.

Heelys has two seasons: the X’mas (winter) and “back to school” (summer). It will be interesting to see how strong its Q2 will be. Because those shoes in the stores now are supplied by Heelys between May to June, I think.

I don’t have any postions on Heelys, as I am looking to buy more CROX on the dip. But it will be fun to watch Heelys Q2 conference call.

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Heelys is NOT going away

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Just went back from Chesterfield Mall, saw Heelys at predominant locations at “Finish Line” (the discount sporting shoes store), and TradeHome, a boutique shoes store which also sells Crocs, Keen, Merrel and Teva. The Journeys also kept the Heelys, also I saw they cut the price on one model.

Yes, Heelys (HLYS) is a broken story in terms of stock, because its lower than expected estimated growth and its mis-steps in its secondary offering. Its management expects the growth to be 20% (vs. past year’s couple hundreds). But, it’s not a broken company at least in the near term. I saw kids skating on Heelys from time to time.

Separately, I saw Dillard’s has some Cayman (Beach, the original) Crocs on sales, note the size is not complete. I bought a pair for $13.99.

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Fail to launch: Heelys withdraws secondary

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(Update June 29) Motley fool ran an article on this. I agree what they said.

(Original June 28) Yeah, they decided to withdraw the already-cut-in-half secondary offering, according to Business Wire.

This is the first time I saw a company withdraw a secondary offering, because of lack of interest (from buyers). I did see some companies withhold IPO due to market conditions.