Wolverine Worldwide’s 1st quarter profits beat Wall Street expectations

Wolverine Worldwide’s 1st quarter profits beat Wall Street expectations

Wolverine Worldwide’s first-quarter revenue fell as the company’s Lifestyle Group revenues shrunk nearly 12 percent compared to a year earlier.

The Lifestyle Group includes the brands Hush Puppies footwear and apparel, Sebago footwear and apparel, and Cushe and Soft Style footwear.

But the Rockford footwear and clothing company’s adjusted earnings easily beat analysts’ estimates.

Wolverine earned $37.2 million, or 36 cents per share, for the period ended March 22. That compares with $29.8 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings were 38 cents a share, beating analysts’ average expectations of 30 cents per share on revenues of 625.42 million.

Revenue slid 2.8 percent to $627.6 million from $645.9 million a year earlier.

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, the footwear giant reported this morning.

“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 in a statement announcing the results. “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’s effective tax rate in the quarter was 28.5 percent, which the company described as significantly above the prior year due to a higher mix of earnings in the United States and the absence of the research and development federal tax credit.

Based on the first quarter results and outlook for the remainder of the year, Wolverine reaffirmed its full-year revenue forecast in the range of $2.775 billion to $2.85 billion, which projects revenue growth of 3 percent to 5 percent and adjusted earnings forecast in the range of $1.57 to $1.63 per share, reflecting an increase of 10 percent to 14 percent compared to fiscal 2013.

Last week, the Wolverine board of directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of 6 cents per share of common stock. The dividend is payable on Aug. 1 to stockholders of record on July 1, 2014. The dividend is equal to the last quarterly dividend and reflects an indicated annual dividend of 24 cents per share.

Wolverine leaders will host a conference call this morning 8:30 a.m. to discuss first quarter results and current business trends. The call can be heard at the Wolverine website, wolverineworldwide.com, under “Investor Relations” in the navigation bar. A replay of the call will be available at the Company’s website through June 20.