We talk a lot about importance of inventories in class, and here is another example, this time coming from Tesla Motors. Their sales are up, to everybody’s cheer, but inventory numbers paint a bit of a dimmer story. Their days of supply inventory is growing steadily which could indicate slowing demand for their cars. The story speaks volumes about importance of inventory numbers (to ops folks and investors alike), and their breakdown – while growing finished goods inventory maybe alarming of slower demand, growing raw materials may suggest that company is betting on future growth. In the Tesla’s case it seems to be the finished goods inventory.
Last couple of weeks have been eventful for CEOs, COOs, and quality managers. Boeing is trying to fix faulty batteries in their 787, Fisker Automotive is in dire straits and expected to file bankruptcy after quality issues with their car batteries. And another company is about to face harsh consequences of quality mismanagement — a yoga-oriented retailer Lululemon Athletica.
Ten days ago Lululemon (LULU) made an announcement of the quality issues with their yoga pants, and lost $600M or 7% of their $9B market capitalization. Ouch. More details and numbers in this video.
What fascinates me in this situation is how the stock market reacts to these kind of events. During the earnings call LULU has reported that the pants issue is going to cost them ~$15M in revenue, which seems not too big of a deal given that their latest quarter revenue was $485M. Later on they made an amendment saying that more pants currently in production and sea-shipments are affected, so that greater revenue losses are expected, but they still should be confined to the 2nd quarter. Still, they are not going to lose all Q2 revenue – so are the markets overreacting in slashing $600M from LULU’s value? Let us try a quick calculation.