Here it comes again: Another shareholder, Consac LLC, has called for Quiksilver to sell due to lower than expected stock prices. This comes just a month after Andy Mooney was removed as CEO and replaced by Pierre Agnes, and Bob McKnight was back on board as Chairman.
Quiksilver has been undergoing significant changes in the past few years, along with former surf-inspired brands such as Billabong. But when pro surfer and 11-time World Champion, Kelly Slater, left their roster to create his own brand, Outerknown after 23 years with Quiksilver, the writing was on the wall.
Surfing as a whole is under significant change, which actually is a good thing. More new brands are filling new niches, and the transformation of the Association of Surfing Professionals to the World Surf League has also created waves for the better.
But on April 23, Consac President Ryan Drexler sent a letter to Chairman McKnight Jr. to recommend the board sell Quiksilver “in order to preserve diminishing shareholder value before Quiksilver’s conditions get even worse.” Consac owns 3.5 million shares.
In the letter, Drexler said there was value in Quiksilver for a buyer such as Nike or VF Corp. “The market capitalization of less than $300 million – almost a fifth of the market cap from barely two years ago – is nowhere near a reflection of the inherent value of the company’s brands, extensive network of more than 700 stores, and potential operating efficiencies,” Drexler said.
Also in the letter, Drexler said that McKnight’s compensation was too high in comparison with the stock value, which has dropped a whopping 85% in the past year. McKnight was paid $3 million in 2014 and more than $6 million in 2013.
In their first quarter, Quiksilver reported a loss $10.8 million on a 4 percent drop in revenue to $340.9 million. They had to delay the release of its first-quarter results because management noticed a “revenue cut-off issue” that resulted in a revision to its 2014 revenue.
We’ll see if someone like Nike or VF Corp buys Quiksilver in the future. But it’s not looking bright. According to our research data on youth culture markets, Quiksilver lost favor back in 2006-2008 which is when it should have started making changes and looking out for other retailers instead of focusing inward in the surf-world at brands like Billabong–which was also failing.
Surfing continues to undergo transformation, which isn’t a bad thing. But for the former big brands of surf, the changes have been challenging to say the least.