Columbia Sportswear’s Q4 Earnings Beat, Prompts Strong Forecast

columbiaPortland, OR—Columbia Sportswear may have reported a 7% drop in its fourth quarter profit late Tuesday, but the company still had plenty to boast about—beyond outfitting the U.S., Russian and Canadian freestyle ski teams at the Sochi Olympics.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the outdoor apparel, accessories and footwear company posted net income of $36.7 million, or $1.05 a share, compared with $39.5 million, or $1.15 a share, last year. Results for the quarter include non-cash asset impairment charge of 16 cents a share. Despite that the results beat analysts’ average estimate for 92 cents a share.

Net sales increased 6% to $533.1 million, ahead of estimates for $498.8 million in sales.

Promising New Joint Venture in China

Geographically, sales in the United States were up 12% while Europe/Middle East/Africa gained 11%. Canada posted a 16% increase in sales while Latin America/Asia Pacific declined 11%.

Net sales in apparel, accessories and equipment increased 6% to $416.0 million, and footwear net sales increased 8% to $117.1 million.

By brand, the Columbia brand reported a 7% increase to $427.8 million. Sorel brand net sales grew 17% to $66 million. And Mountain Hardwear net sales declined 13% to $37.3 million.

According to CEO/President Tim Boyle the company has seen a pick up in consumer demand. “2013 concluded with strong sales momentum. Increased consumer demand that became evident across our U.S. direct-to-consumer platform during the third quarter, well before seasonal weather arrived, has sustained through the fourth quarter of 2013 and into the first quarter of 2014,” Boyle said.

columbiaolympics

Columbia Sportswear designed and produced the Winter Olympic outfits for the U.S., Russian and Canadian freestyle ski teams

He added that the company’s wholesale customers have indicated they will be ordering broader and deeper assortments for Fall 2014.

“As a result, we expect renewed growth in our wholesale businesses, continued expansion of our global direct-to-consumer business, coupled with incremental contributions from our new joint venture in China, to drive healthy growth in sales and operating income in 2014,” Boyle added.

Besides this sales prognosis, the company’s 2014 forecast and its approved 12% increase in quarterly dividend to 28 cents a share helped send Columbia’s share up in trading today.

For 2014, Columbia forecast an increase in net sales between 15% to 17% approximately $1.93 billion to $1.97 billion. Analysts’ consensus is for $1.81 billion.

 

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Jeff Prine, Editor at Large, Accessories Magazine
Jeff returns as a regular contributor to Accessories magazine. Initially Jeff worked as senior editor at Accessories more than 20 years ago and his love of the industry has followed him until present. Since his tenure here, Jeff has continued to report jewelry, watch and other luxury goods trends as executive editor at Modern Jeweler magazine, fashion director at Lustre, and as contributor on products and trends for consumer and trade publications and websites. In addition to his editorial experience, Jeff also served as an adjunct instructor for accessories merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology. jeffp@busjour.com