Wolverine Narrows Q4 Loss on Strong Sales

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Rockford, MI—Wolverine World Wide Inc. today reported that its fourth quarter loss narrowed thanks to strong sales increases from its brands Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Keds, and Merrell.

For the quarter ended Dec. 28, the footwear and accessories company said its loss narrowed to $1.7 million, or 2 cents a share, from $3.7 million, or 4 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted earnings were 22 cents a share compared with 24 cents a share a year ago.

Strengthened Direct-to-Consumer

That edged out analysts’ estimate for 20 cents a share even though Wolverine said the earnings were hurt by incremental pension and incentive compensation expense and a higher tax rate and share count.

Net sales were up 13.6% to $740.8 million just missing analysts’ estimate for $743.93 million in sales.

By division, the Lifestyle Group’s sales were up 25.9%; Performance Group revenues were up 13.8% from last year; and revenues from Heritage Group rose 2.2%.

For its full year sales, Wolverine said they grew to a record $2.69 billion, from $1.64 billion the year before.

According to CEO/Chairman Blake Krueger, “We integrated the newly acquired brands into our business and successfully executed numerous global growth initiatives across our brand portfolio while also expanding and strengthening our direct-to-consumer platform. Even as a sluggish retail environment and very cold weather in the U.S. tempered growth for our Sperry Top-Sider and Stride Rite brands during the fourth quarter, many of our other brands, including Merrell, delivered excellent results.”

As for its 2014 forecast, the company expects per share earnings in the range of $1.57 to $1.63 while sales should be up 3% to 6%, in the range of $2.775 to $2.85 billion.

Analysts project earnings per share of $1.67, on $2.84 billion in revenue for 2014.


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