Wolverine Q1 Profit Beats Estimates Even as Sales Slowed

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Spring Styles at Hush Puppies

Spring Styles at Hush Puppies

Rockford, MI—While sales of its brands such as Merrell, Hush Puppies, Saucony, Keds and Stride Rite were stymied by lower traffic and bad weather in its first quarter, Wolverine Worldwide today reported a profit increase that beat forecasts.

For the quarter ended March 22, Wolverine said it earned $37.1 million, or 36 cents a share. That compares with $29.8 million or 30 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding acquisition and restructuring costs, adjusted earnings were 38 cents a share. That beat analysts’ average estimate for 30 cents a share.

Net revenue slipped 3% to $627.6 million but that was better than analysts’ prediction for $626.2 million in sales.

Reaffirms Full Year Forecast

The company said its first quarter revenue performance was tempered by “continued soft traffic at retail in the U.S., the strategic realignment of Sperry Top-Sider’s U.S. distribution, extreme weather conditions in the U.S. and the U.K., and the impact of the shift in timing of Easter business to the second quarter.”

“We expect fiscal 2014 to be another record year for the company, driven, in part, by our excellent earnings performance in the first quarter,” said CEO Blake Krueger said. “Our diverse global business model–which is focused on 16 brands and multiple consumer groups, distribution channels, and geographies–is one of our company’s greatest strengths. We believe our global geographic balance, brand diversity, and focus on product creation and forging strong connections with our consumers will drive revenue and earnings growth in 2014.”

Wolverine reaffirmed its full fiscal year forecast for sales of $2.75 billion to $2.85 billion with adjusted earnings in the range of $1.57 to $1.63 a share.

Analysts expect per share earnings of $1.59 on revenue of $2.80 billion for the year.