My theory is that RH’s capex guidance telegraphs what future earnings will be. The latest guidance is for 27-45% higher capex than last fiscal year ($140-160M versus $110M).
- If RH is the real deal, then the growth investments should generate high returns on invested capital. If so, RH should rapidly grow earnings. (Of course, anything can happen and RH may see poor or negative returns on its new investments.)
- Suppose you believe that RH has been aggressively capitalizing costs that should more appropriately be expensed. Such accounting practices would inflate earnings. The high capex guidance may telegraph high reported earnings.
In either scenario, earnings will increase in the short term. My theory (and it’s just a theory) is that short sellers may wish to wait until the company guides capex lower.
*Disclosure: Short RH via common shares and put options.