RG Barry dfz W
February 20, 2007 - 2:17pm EST by
2007 2008
Price: 9.02 EPS
Shares Out. (in M): 0 P/E
Market Cap (in $M): 91 P/FCF
Net Debt (in $M): 0 EBIT 0 0

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                                      RG Barry Again



In March of 2005, we recommended the stock of RG Barry (dfz) trading then in the


over the counter market. With the passage of time, the old rgbc has turned around


and reasonably prospered with it’s stock advancing from a March 06, 2005 of


$3.80 to a current price of about $9.00.  Honestly, we have our double and should


go home.  But the story still is as attractive as before.



      Let us first go back into history to review. Best known for its Dearfoam line of


slippers  and Ezfeet at Walmart,  RG Barry is one of the oldest shoe manufacturers


in the United Stares with about a 40% market share. Customers include JC Penney,


Federated, Macys among many others.


      Enter globalization and sleepy Barry felt the hurt. Underpriced  products started


hitting our shores,  socking the domestic slipper industry. Results turned negative for


the company and then somewhat belatedly they searched for answers. The year 2004,


brought with it a turnaround expert and new ceo, Thomas Von Lehman . Within the next


two  years,  Von Lehman cut sku’s and high maintenance customers  (big on unsold


shoes). Employees were slashed 90% as all production was moved to China. Customers


were dramatically reduced from about 800 to 30, with 13 customers accounting for about


65% of sales.  All rather dramatic changes to right the ship. Commenting on earlier


results, Von Lehman said “….and our experiencing thus far with total outsourcing has


been better than expected from the standpoints of pricing, quality and delivery”.


      In our earlier missive, we stated that DFZ estimated that over 75% of an estimated


62 million consumers had brand awareness of Dearfoams,  a figure approaching 90%


among upper tier shoppers-  now that’s brand power. And with little emphasisfrom adver-


tising and marketing!


     Von Lehman having turned around the company gave over the reigns to Greg Tunney


past COO and PRES of Phoenix Footwear during 2006. Greg  stated his mission now was


to grow the company both organically and by opening new channels of distribution.


Having been on board for last three quarters,  results are showing up. For the quarter


ending Dec,  revs were $40.9 million up 11% from comparable period while pro-forma


operating profits were $6.6 million up from $5.7 million. For the six months,  revenues


were $78.3 million compared to $$72.2 million with proforma operating profits of


about $12.9 million compared to $10.3 million. Over the same time period (y/y), cash


vaulted to $14.8 million from $3.5 million, cash and receivables to $28.5 million


compared to $15.5 million with total current assets of $50.2 million ($36.6 million).


Current liabilities fell to $12.8 million from year earlier $15.3 million.


      With an acid test of over 2 to 1 and current ratio of 4 to 1,  it would be fair


to say Barry is in a good financial position. With cash mounting on balance sheet,


certainly one attractive use would be a  buyback of shares and with only 10 million


shares outstanding it would prove nicely accretive.


      The recent second quarter conference call was a veritable gold mine of informa-


tion. The CEO Greg Tunney said he believes that a realistic annual gross profit


percentage for the current business model was 40%. Again, the current model.


Selling and general administrative expenses were down by 16.6% for the quarter,


and a 13.2% for the first half.  Inventories was reduced a dramatic 36%,  or  $6.9


million from one year ago. All good stuff.


       The CEO went on to say that Barry was taking back market share,  based he said


“on superior execution on every level”.  Corporate strategy he went on to say would


include organic growth based on the introduction of new and licensed products and


their entrance in new and underserved channels of distribution – mostly new customers.


Examples would include key outdoor retail shops such as a local ski shop,  specialty


shoe stores as well as full priced premium department stores.  DFZ is looking at


licensing as well as other new accessory footwear areas.  Sandals, athletic footwear,


slipper socks, are all new avenues of opportunity for company.



      The exciting part of the story that Tunney shared on the call, was the introduction


of  Terrasoles, a unique indoor-outdoor shoe- the first new product introduction under


the new business model.  The major launch at two business shows in January was


“very impressive” with initial orders very strong at both shows.  Terrasoles is targeted


to fill a void between the sneaker and slipper market-  a shoe that is more comfortable


and casual than active footwear but is more functional than a slipper.  It can be used for


travel, running errands and relaxing .  Available for both sexes and retailing for $30 to


$50 thru full priced independent shoe stores, specialty shops,  select premium department


stores in the Fall.  Greg said this is their largest introduction of the year.



       Adding another layer of excitement was the announcement of a line of clog shoes


called DF Sports that was introduced into Sam’s Club in late December. Management


said the first DF Sport product athletic mesh clog that experienced a 60% sell through.


Sales exceeded both the company’s and Sam’s Club expectations-  very similar with


the Terrasoles launch.  Quoting Tunney  “The recent results we got from Sam’s Club


have just happened in the last four weeks and the results were,  you know,  short of





      Now to the numbers.  DFZ expects top line growth of about 7% for year end June


2007,  about $112 million up from $105 million. They further gave guidance of a


an operating profit increasing at about a 30% rate over Dec 2005 which should translate


to $10.5 million up from $8 million in 2005. Using 10 million shares and  a tax rate of


 35% ( again no tax will be paid)  gives us $0.69 up from $0.52. With a tax loss


carryfoward of about $25 million, profits should continue to buildup quickly on the


balance sheet. Little benefit will be seen from current product initiatives for year end


June. The new fiscal starting July should get RG Barry humming.



      Our early line guess for the 2007-2008 year is $125 million with a pro-forma


operating profit of  $14 million or a eps of $0.91 up 31% from the estimate for the


current June y/e. We believe the next 12 months could bring us a double for RG Barry.


Forays into sandals,  licenses,  branded shoes, outdoor segments and probability of a


growing cash bundle used to buyback stock or for a strategic acquisition all augur


well. Thus we are continuing to ride this horse.




Discovery of exciting story with new product introductions and no street coverage at present.
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