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Lehman Starts Oakley as Buy

Lehman Brothers started coverage of Oakley (OO), the consumer products maker known for its eyewear, with a buy rating.

Analyst Robert Drbul says he believes that the Oakley brand remains strong as the company maintains the leading 9% market share in the $1.7 billion U.S. wholesale sunglass market.

He adds that during the third quarter, revenue from new categories such as footwear, apparel, watches and prescription eyewear increased 79.9% to $33.2 million, accounting for 28% of gross revenue. He notes that sales to the Sunglass Hut declined 91% in the third quarter, illustrating the transition resulting from Luxottica Group's acquisition of Oakley's largest customer in April. Oakley, employing a variety of strategies to resolve distribution concerns, is continuing the brand's momentum, he says. He set a $14 12-month target.

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