Turning Tennis White Into Green by Richard Phalon
Summary: Sneaker maker K-Swiss (NASDAQ:KSWS) realizes that it must run with the times or be left behind. Its all-white tennis shoe, a classic since 1966 and its best selling product, is being outdone by snazzier, more modern brands. Late February the company reported an 18% drop in last year's Q4 domestic sales and the stock fell to its current $27, down over 25% from its 52-week high in October. It's now trading at 13.8x estimated earnings for 2007. CEO Steven Nichols is determined to create a turnaround by sharpening design, widening product development and going deeper into the sports arena. Bulls believe these moves could push the stock to $32 and that selling has been overdone. $115 million in new buys by some of the Street's best bargain hunters, including Third Avenue Management, reflect a conviction that the stock is probably in better shape than it looks.