但 許多華爾街人士卻對Crocs的業績能繼續保持快速增長感到沒有把握﹐該公司2006財年的銷售額高達3.38億美元﹐遠遠高於2003財年的120萬美 元﹐其目前54美元以上的股價也大大高於1年前僅為21美元的發行價。截至上個月﹐該公司股票的賣空量大約相當於該股已發行股總量的30%﹐那些賣空 Crocs股票的人都希望從該股的下跌中獲利﹐他們都在等待著這家公司的“一招鮮”不再能吃遍天的時候。
該 公司定於今年秋季面市的新產品將很少使用其具有專利權的材料Croslite﹐這是一種具有防水性的塑料樹脂﹐用其生產的鞋既舒適又耐穿。新推出的產品將 只用Croslite做鞋底﹐這九款時尚新品將以楔形鞋跟、皮革、小山羊皮以及羊羔毛等為特色。它們的預期售價在70至200美元之間﹐大大高於 Crocs普通產品30美元左右的價格。
人 們有理由看好這家公司。在電子產品生產商偉創力國際(Flextronics International Ltd.)前管理人士的領導下﹐Crocs已在全球每個主要大陸建立起了自己的生產和銷售業務﹐它目前在全世界18,000個零售點出售自己的鞋子。通過 簽署授權協議﹐該公司還獲准在自己生產的鞋子上打上一些職業及大學運動隊的標誌以及華特-迪士尼公司(Walt Disney Co.)和維亞康姆公司(Viacom Inc.)旗下Nickelodeon所擁有的卡通形像。
Wedbush Morgan Securities駐洛杉磯的分析師傑夫•明特(Jeff Mintz)說﹐Crocs的股價昂貴﹐但貴得並不離譜。他將Crocs的股票評級定為買進﹐並將該股的12個月目標價定為55美元。明特認為﹐雖然 Crocs的本益比很高﹐但該公司業務增長得也很迅速。在Crocs去年進行首次公開募股時﹐Wedbush Morgan Securities是承銷商之一。
看跌Crocs的人士則要人們關注該公司高昂的本益比。因為相比之下﹐Ugg時尚羊皮靴生產商 Deckers Outdoor Corp.基於2006年每股收益的本益比只有22.4倍。這家公司曾因該產品而一度大出風頭﹐但自2003年以來該公司的銷售增長動力已經消失。而另一 家製鞋企業Steve Madden Ltd.的本益比則更低﹐只有14.4倍。
一些不看好Crocs前景的人聲稱﹐該公司的業務增長動 力最終將更多來自現有零售商而不是新增加的零售商。而這只有該公司新推出的產品被證明物有所值時才能實現。許多投資者都認定Crocs不會成功﹐該公司高 達30%的賣空量便是證據。相比之下﹐Deckers、Steve Madden和童鞋生產商Heelys Inc.這三家製鞋商被賣空的股票量相當於其已發行股總量的比例分別只有13.6%、5.5%和3.3%。
紐約投資公司Straus Capital Management的首席投資長斯特勞斯(Melville 'Mickey' Straus)認為﹐雖然包括他在內的大多數人對Crocs的未來前景都是懷疑大於信任﹐但該公司已經多次以其出色業績令人大感意外﹐它今後可能還會這 樣。這家管理著2億美元資產的公司持有60,000股Crocs股票。
另一個讓投資者對Crocs抱懷疑態度的因素是﹕Thomson Financial提供的數據顯示﹐過去1年中﹐該公司管理人士共售出了2.123億美元的公司股票﹐而他們同期只買入了420萬美元的Crocs股票。 該公司的一些管理人士已經離開了這家公司。但那些未離開的管理人士也在出售公司股票。據Thomson稱﹐Crocs首席執行長斯奈德已經賣出了180餘 萬股該公司股票﹐套現6,150萬美元。
Health warning over 'dangerous' Crocs
By Tom Leonard in New York
Crocs, the popular plastic shoes that are reputedly as comfortable as they are ugly, may not be quite so “go-anywhere” as they seem.
Reports are increasing around the world of Croc wearers, invariably young children, getting their toes caught in escalators - sometimes with drastic results.
Made of a soft, synthetic resin, Crocs were designed as a boating shoe because of their non-marking, slip-resistant soles.
Their soaring popularity has been fuelled by their appearance on the feet of the likes of George Bush, Jack Nicholson and Kate Middleton.
The Colorado-based company, which only started five years ago, last month reported sales had jumped by 162 per cent, to pounds 110 million, from April to June this year.
But in Washington DC, the Metro, one of the largest American subway systems, has now put up warning notices about wearing such shoes on its moving stairways.
The posters don’t mention Crocs by name but feature a photo of a crocodile.
A Metro spokesman said that, in the past two years, so-called “shoe entrapments” had gone from being relatively rare to occurring four or five times a week.
In American Girl, an upmarket US toy store chain owned by Mattel, signs warn customers wearing Crocs or flip-flops to use the lifts instead of escalators.
There have also been Croc-related escalator incidents in Singapore and Japan as well as in malls and railway stations across America.
The Japanese government warned its public last week that it had received 39 reports of sandals - mostly Crocs or similar products - getting stuck in escalators between late August and early September.
Most of the reports involved small children, some as young as two.
In Singapore, a two-year-old girl wearing rubber clogs - the brand is unclear - reportedly had her big toe ripped off in an escalator accident last year.
A common pattern is that the accidents occurred because of the brightly-coloured, clog-like shoes’ flexibility and grip, supposedly two of their main selling points.
Some accidents reportedly occurred because the shoes got caught in the “teeth” at the bottom or top of the escalator, or in the crack between the steps and the side of the escalator.
In the US, a three-year-old boy wearing Crocs suffered a deep gash across the top of his toes on an escalator at Atlanta Airport in June.
A spokesman for the airport terminal said it was one of seven shoe entrapments since May, all but two of which involved Crocs.
During the past two years, shoe entrapments in the Washington subway system have gone from being relatively rare to happening four or five times a week during warm months, although none has caused serious injuries, said Dave Lacosse, who oversees the subway’s 588 escalators, the most of any US transit system.
Rory McDermott, four, caught a Croc in an escalator in a suburban Washington shopping mall last month.
His mother, Jodi, managed to yank him free, but the nail on his big toe was almost completely ripped off, causing heavy bleeding.
Mrs McDermott said she initially had no idea what caused the accident until someone at the hospital remarked on Rory’s shoes, prompting her to do an internet search.
She said: “I came home and typed in ’Croc’ and ’escalator,’ and all these stories came up. If I had known, those would never have been worn.”
Kazuo Motoya of Japan’s National Institute of Technology and Evaluation said children may have more escalator accidents because they “bounce around when they stand on escalators, instead of watching where they place their feet".
Crocs says its shoes are “completely safe” and has suggested the accidents are instead due to badly-maintained escalators or people not behaving safely on them.
It said in a statement: “Escalator safety is an issue we take very seriously. In order to stay safe while riding escalators or moving walkways, it’s important to pay attention, especially when stepping onto or off of the escalator or walkway. It’s also important for parents to help young children ride escalators and moving walkways safely."
Crocs said it was working in the US with the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation on public education initiatives.
However, Barbara Allen, the foundation’s executive director, said that after a Crocs official rang her a year ago about possible cooperation, there had been no further contact and the company had not returned her calls.