Thriving in the denim business is an increasingly difficult feat to master. Only a select few brands have survived in this cut-throat business. The companies that have successfully battled through this competitive business now find themselves as household brands flourishing because of their ability to take a piece of the 13 billion dollar annual US market for denim. Only a small number of companies are truly taking a solid share of this market. Guess' Inc. (NYSE:GES) falls under that category with annual revenue of 2.62 billion. True Religion Apparel Inc. (NASDAQ:TRLG) had roughly 450 million dollars in revenue in 2012. The Buckle Inc. (NYSE:BKE) had 1.1 billion dollars of revenue this past year. These are all companies that have a nice chunk of this massive and ever growing market. These companies have already made it to the big leagues and have already carefully carved their niche. So what if I told you there was another company in the wings slowly developing their own similar success story?
On Tuesday (1/22/2013) Joe's Jeans (NASDAQ:JOEZ) received a letter from NASDAQ indicating that they have in fact regained compliance with all NASDAQ requirements. Joe's Jeans did this by trading above a closing price of $1.00 for 10 consecutive trading days. It goes without saying that this is not necessarily great news for a company to hear. The fact that the stock was ever in question of losing NASDAQ bid requirements certainly requires red flags to be thrown. However, in the case of Joe's Jeans this was encouraging news for a stock that has continued to add onto recent gains. In the last two months, Joe's has rallied over 30% from 87 cents a share. In early 2012, Joe's Jeans Inc. stock sold for 53 cents per share. Since the January 2012 low, Joe's stock has shaken off the market and rallied over 120%.
Joe's Jeans Inc. designs, produces, and sells apparel worldwide. Among their products are women's, men's, and children's denim jeans, pants, shirts, sweaters, and jackets sold under the Joe's brand name. Additionally, through licensing agreements, Joe's sells clutches, handbags, shoes, and belts. "Over the last decade Joe's has stayed true to its dedication to timeless style by constantly modernizing wardrobe staples from one season to the next. Today Joe's extends beyond premium denim and includes a casual, chic lifestyle collection for men, women and kids." These products are reputable and hundreds of celebrities candidly flaunt Joe's Jeans throughout Hollywood and throughout their day to day lives. Founded in Los Angeles, Joe's has a strong following of 'popular celebrities' as well as natives of Hollywood. Halle Berry, Eva Longoria, Jessica Alba, Jessica Simpson, and Angelina Jolie have all been seen strutting their Joe's.
Joe's Jean's Inc. is still a fairly new company. Joe's was established in 1987 and formerly went by "Innovo Group", only to change its name to Joe's Jeans in October 2007. It was during this time that they exited the private label business and shifted their focus towards producing, marketing and selling their own product. This was a major turning point and milestone for the company. Joe's Jeans realized that in order to enter and remain in this volatile denim business they must be at the top of the class, and Innovo Group wasn't cutting it. After the Joe's Jeans name change, the revenue has also seen positive change, with double figure revenue increases over the last two years. Joe's Jeans has exhibited bottom line growth and the numbers speak for themselves.
Their brand loyalty is evident when you take a look on their blog as well as social media outlets. Joe's is contemporary, modern, and chic. They use sex appeal and they always seem to have the 'hottest' products out. They were the ones who first rolled out "skinny jeans". Last year, they rolled out "55 Colors" which offered women's denim in 55 different colors and shades. Joe's Jeans seems to know what the public wants and how to grab their attention. The quality speaks for itself as an average t-shirt sells for upwards of $100 and their jeans go for an average of $200, and these pricey garments are not staying on the shelves.
On Tuesday January 15th, Joe's Jeans announced preliminary results for the 4th quarter of 2012. It expects net sales to come in between 30.9 and 32.2 million, which would bring total net sales for the year between 115.8 to 117.1 million. Projections are calling for 24.5 to 25.5 million wholesale and 6.4 to 6.7 million in retail for the fourth quarter of 2012. If these projected totals are indeed accurate, Joe's will be staring at double digit growth once again. On the October 15th 2012 3rd quarter earnings call, Joe's reported net sales of 30.3 million which represented a 25% increase from the prior years Q3.
Retail and Wholesale Expansion
From November 27th 2012 until today, Joe's Jeans has opened three new stores, strategically adding to its core base. All of the store openings came in the form of retail and they were in: New Jersey, California, and Texas, respectively. Talk about reaching all corners of the country. As of 1/25/2013 Joe's Jeans was compromised of eleven retail stores and nineteen wholesale stores. If you take into account store total to company revenue, you will be astonished. Revenue over the last four quarters was slightly over 110 million. No wonder why they have plans to keep expanding with new store openings. In addition to their own retail and outlet stores, Joe's Jeans Inc. sells its products through its e-commerce website: JoesJeans.com as well as through various specialty stores, retailers, boutiques, and department stores.
Joe's can be found coast to coast in the USA and internationally throughout Europe, Asia, Canada, Latin America and the Middle East. Joe's retail boutiques are located in top markets including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and Atlanta as well as Dubai and Kuwait. Joe's has plans for future growth. CEO Marc Crossman stated himself in Joe's Jeans most recent earnings conference call, "We expect to have several more stores slated to open in the first half of 2013".
In early 2012, Joe's Jeans reached an exclusive deal with Macy's (NYSE:M) to carry a line produced and manufactured by Joe's Jeans entitled "Else". Else Jeans was created to be priced differently than its Joe's line. An average pair of Else Jeans have starting price points of $68, while Joe's Jeans carry an averaging starting retail price of $189. This 'Else' deal creates new avenues for revenue for Joe's Jeans Inc. as well as increases brand recognition. In just the first two quarters there was already total sales exceeding one million dollars for the 'Else' debut lines. Marc Crossman, the President and CEO of Joe's Jeans, commented, "We are thrilled to be partnering with such a distinguished American institution. We look forward to an exciting and expansive business venture and the opportunity to create a unique product offering for the Macy's customer." By making this deal Joe's showed their ability to dive into new markets and proved that they are neither one dimensional nor a one trick pony.
A speculative stock like Joe's Jeans comes with flashing signs that say risk. Joe's Jeans has had solid revenue growth as well as increases in sales recently. They are rapidly expanding. With a strong celebrity backing, improving sales, and plans for future growth, is Joe's Jeans worth the risk? Those investors who believe in Joe's Jeans and their future as a profitable company will certainly be rewarded for believing in the vision from the early days.
Disclosure: I am long JOEZ. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.