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Oakley Stock Rises on Execs' Optimism

March 21, 2001|Dow Jones

Oakley Inc.'s stock moved up Tuesday amid bullish comments from executives and an analyst at a stock conference.

The executives reiterated projections that the Foothill Ranch company's revenue should grow 20% this year, but said the gains could surpass that estimate if Oakley continues to gain market share in its core sunglasses business. Oakley's revenue totaled $363.5 million last year.

Oakley gained significant market share last year from rival Ray-Ban, a popular brand owned by Italian eyewear-maker Luxottica Group, said Link Newcomb, Oakley's chief operating officer.

The stock, which has doubled over the last 12 months, closed Tuesday at $17.01, up $1.01 a share, on the New York Stock Exchange.

Newcomb acknowledged that uncertainty in the U.S. economy may be causing concern about consumer-product companies. "But we are a little bit more immune to a slowdown because of the new markets we are entering," Newcomb said at Deutsche Banc's Consumer Growth Stock Conference in Naples, Fla.

Although sunglasses account for about 80% of the company's revenue, Newcomb noted that the company has successfully ventured into other product categories such as footwear, prescription eyewear and other apparel.

In a press release on Monday, the company said its order backlog for fall footwear and apparel was about $27 million as of Friday, compared with $7.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2000.

Before introducing Newcomb and chief financial officer Tom George at the conference, Marcia Aaron, a Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown analyst, called the eyewear-maker "my single best-performing stock in 2000."

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