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Hawk’s Nest

Bulls Target Designer Brands (DBI) Amid Shift to Athleisure

by | Jul 29, 2021

Designer Brands (DBI) small-cap seeing unusual activity on 7/29 with over 8250 September $15 calls bought on the day around $1.20, over 30X average. DBI sees little other notable open interest. Shares have pulled back from their 52-week highs made in May and now around the 200-MA at $12.75. Shares ran hard from the October 2020 lows and also back at the 38.2% Fibonacci of the run at $14.25. A move higher above the 21-EMA at $15 has room to run to $18. The $998.5M company trades 11X earnings and 0.4X cash. DBI is a designer and retailer of footwear with in-house brands under Vince Camuto, Jessica Simpson, Lucky and other names while their retail footprint is under the DSW and Shoe Warehouse names. DBI has been going aggressively at the athleisure market, an area where they are historically underpenetrated, and updated in May that they’ve gained market share throughout 2021. NPD data has shown DSW outpacing the rest of the market by 15% versus 2019 levels and they should see further gains as they nail down more relationships with top brands. The company is also seeing stronger seasonal shoe sales while they’ve been managing inventory in a much leaner fashion which sets them up well for the Fall. DBI would benefit from a return to the office push as dress shoes has been lagging relative to historical levels. Short interest is 13.5%. Analysts have an average target for shares of $11 and a Street High $22. DBI has seen a lot of big insider buys this year including $15M from a director and Chairman in March at $14.