If you’ve ever heard shoes referred to "wheels" in slang that isn’t really slang for Heelys Inc. (NASDAQ:HLYS), which makes the wheeled shoes for kids. This was a fairly hot IPO for a brief period and there was some cool product buzz. Unfortunately it was a flameout and the stock imploded after coming public. Inventories had been up and previous guidance wasn’t exactly what investors in hot post-IPO’s look for.
Today, the company has launched its ‘non-wheeled’ line of shoes. So these are just regular shoes. Heelys is already in apparel, bags and accessories, so this is not exactly the first ‘first’ for the company. This launch is called the Gamer by Heelys. The new Heelys Gamer shoe embraces a favorite American pastime by featuring a simulated game controller on the outsole of the shoe. This was demonstrated in July at the World Series of Video Games. This will hit stores in November for pre-holiday sales. If you want to see the demo you can see the design at http://www.heelysgamer.com.
Shares are up 8% pre-market at $10.60. The trading range since the IPO has been $7.65 to $40.09. As of the end of September, Heelys had over 2.3 million shares listed in its short interest (about 10 days to cover).
Barron’s also pointed to risks in this early on.
Jon C. Ogg
October 17, 2007