Market Watch: Adidas for Q1… Rockport Sale Rumors

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, May 6:
Adidas AG Q1 results
U.S. trade deficit for March

Wednesday, May 7:
R.W. Baird & Co. 2014 Growth Stock Conference, Chicago
U.S. productivity for Q1
U.S. unit labor costs for Q1
U.S. consumer credit for March

Thursday, May 8:
U.S. continuing weekly jobless claims

Friday, May 9:
U.S. job openings for March
U.S. wholesale inventories for March

Stock Watch

Adidas AG is the first of the major athletic companies to report its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday. 

Adidas, along with its competitors, has upped its investment in growing brand awareness ahead of several major global sporting events in 2014, such as the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

According to recent reports, Ingo Speich, a fund manager with Union Investment, which is a major investor in Adidas, told the German press he is critical of the company’s failure to narrow the market share gap with rival Nike Inc.

For the first quarter, analysts expect the company to deliver diluted earnings per share of 1.09 euros, or $1.51 at current exchange rates. The consensus estimate for sales in the period is $3.59 million euros, or $4.99 million.

The company warned in March that weakening emerging market currencies, notably the Russian ruble, could hurt 2014 results and pose a risk to its 2015 targets, even with a boost from the soccer World Cup.

Adidas created buzz of a different kind today amid reports the firm is looking to sell its Rockport brand, which has annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of between $30 million and $40 million.

According to reports, the brand could sell for more than $300 million, based on comparable EBITDA multiples. Adidas is said to have appointed investment bank Guggenheim Partners to begin pitching potential suitors, which could include private equity or trade buyers.

A representative from Guggenheim did not immediately respond to inquiries.

Elsewhere in the footwear space, shares of Skechers USA Inc. have recovered after slipping on Friday. Investors were anxious about the company’s announcement it is considering acquiring an interest in the Los Angeles Clippers.

The company’s shares were up 3 percent on Monday, ending the day at $41.12.

Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren Corp. is set to deliver its first-quarter earnings on Friday and will provide a read on signs of a rebound in the luxury goods market.

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