This is based on both historical precedent and the fact that the firm has started to see year-over-year revenue declines. The company remains highly leveraged and although they are expected to remain liquid, this reality will place some constraints on Adidas. The company is likely to remain in a holding pattern for the next year, awaiting both economic recovery and the two major marketing events in 2010 -- the Winter Olympics and the World Cup. Thus, the best trading strategy for Adidas in the short-term is to hold.
The long-term strategy, however, will be different. Going out as far as 2015, the decision needs to be made based on the broader trends in the company's business and the likelihood of it extending its competitive advantages and core competencies. As noted, the greatest strength of Adidas is the economies of scale it achieves, in particular with respect to its international marketing campaigns. With respect to this tactic, the company appears well-positioned for the future, although there remains doubt about their ability to rebuild the Reebok brand. Adidas has aligned itself with many top athletes and events, such that the company will continue to have a premium image that will allow them to command substantial margins for their products. In this respect, there does not appear to be a significant threat to the company's business model.
The firm's finances will continue to improve over this period. The company has a long-term strategy in place to reduce costs, improve margins and reduce the debt that it acquired via Reebok. As such, liquidity and leverage positions are expected to improve over the long run. Margins will continue to show incremental improvement as well. The company's marketing efforts have generated consistent revenue gains and this is expected to continue going forward as well, a function of their more focused approach and continued integration of Reebok.
The global economy will recover. As it does, share prices will improve as well. This rising tide will float all boats, that of Adidas included, especially in light of expected improvement in operating results. As such, the current low level of Adidas stock price should signal a buy on the stock. The firm does not have a source of sustainable competitive advantage, so it remains at risk of losing market share to Nike or another competitor. However, it does have strong core competencies that will allow for consistent revenue and profit improvement. This will help propel the share price higher over the course of the next several years. Moreover, the overarching strategy of tighter focus and debt reduction is a strong strategy for the future. The company is pointed in the right direction and will therefore see an improvement in stock price that may exceed market improvement.
It should also be noted that there are few direct threats to the Adidas business. The company is not at any particular risk with respect to the political or legal environments. In the athletic footwear and apparel business, there are few risks with respect to technology. Game-changing technology of the kind that would severely compromise Adidas' market position is not expected to emerge as the focus of almost all players in the market is strictly towards marketing efforts, with technology relegated to a marketing ploy at this point. There is the risk that another athlete will become the next Michael Jordan and deliver correspondingly strong market share growth to a competitor, but there is just as much likelihood that Adidas would win that athlete for their own stable, given their strategy and capability with respect to signing such athletes.
Overall, Adidas is a strong company with solid growth prospects. In the short run, they can be expected to track the broader market closely, but their operational strengths will help them to achieve strong long-term growth. That said, it is unlikely that the Adidas of 2019 will look much different than that of 2009, so the buy recommendation comes with the caveat that by and large the firm's success will depend on its ability to outmarket competitors, especially Nike.
Some financial data from Reuters. Retrieved June 18, 2009 from http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/incomeStatement?symbol=ADDDF.PK
Adidas Group 2008 Annual Report. Retrieved June 18, 2009 from http://adidas-group.corporate-publications.com/2008/gb/index.php?lang=en
No author. (2005). Cricket Australia and Adidas Ink Four-Year Partnership Deal. Indian Television.com. Retrieved June 18, 2009 from http://www.indiantelevision.com/mam/headlines/y2k5/may/maymam21.htm
Bajak, Frank. (2005). First Computerized Shoe Thinks on its Feet. MSNBC. Retrieved June 18, 2009 from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7643818/
No author/Associated Press. (2006). Adidas Broadening Reebok Brand Identity. Money.co.uk.…