For Luxoticca’s (LUX), the world’s largest maker and retailer of sun glasses, the second quarter was a war between the slowdown in developed economies such as Europe and the United States and growth in emerging economies such as China.
Because Luxottica’s established business in the United States, Japan, and Europe is so much larger than its “future” business in China and other developing markets, the slowdown won.
I think the second half of 2009 shapes up pretty much the same way and investors who like this stock for its future–for the way that sales of the company’s sun glasses will grow along with incomes in the developing world–can wait until 2010 to add to positions. Second quarter results, announced on July 28, showed an increase in total sales of 3.5% from the second quarter of 2008 largely on strength in the U.S. dollar. (As a European company reporting in euros, Luxottica’s revenue and earnings go up when a dollar is worth more euros.) Sales declined 3.3%, however, once you correct for the effect of currencies.
In its conference call with analyts and investors, CFO Enrico Cavatorta said that free cash flow, which reached 260 million euros in the second quarter,would finish the year closer to a run rate of 500 million euros than to 400 million. The company has said that in August or early September it will visit the possibility of issuing a dividend.