Traverse City Record-Eagle

April 17, 2013

Wolverine Worldwide 1Q profit slips, beats view

— ROCKFORD, Mich. (AP) — Wolverine Worldwide's first-quarter net income fell 5 percent as expenses rose and it incurred a one-time charge.

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

Revenue surged as the company got a lift from a full quarter of contributions from recently-acquired brands like Saucony and Sperry Top-Sider but it slightly lowered its full-year revenue forecast.

Wolverine Worldwide earned $29.8 million, or 60 cents per share, for the period ended March 23. That compares with $31.2 million, or 64 cents per share, a year earlier.

Selling, general and administrative expenses climbed to $196 million from $95.2 million. The current quarter also included a one-time charge of $15.2 million related to transaction and integration costs.

Stripping out the transaction and integration costs, earnings were 81 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected adjusted earnings of 55 cents per share.

Revenue more than doubled to $645.9 million from $322.8 million, helped by its first full quarter of results from the Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Stride Rite, and Keds brands. Wall Street predicted $630.5 million in revenue.

The Rockford, Mich., company said Tuesday that some of its strongest brands were Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony and Merrell.

Wolverine Worldwide Inc. completed its $1.25 billion buyout of the performance and lifestyle group from Collection Brands Inc. in October. The performance and lifestyle group includes the Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Stride Ride and Keds brands.

The company said that sales in the U.S. were a key part of its business during the quarter, as Europe continued to deal with tough economic conditions.

Cost of products sold jumped to $383.8 million from $190.6 million during the quarter.

Wolverine Worldwide expects full-year revenue of between $2.7 billion and $2.78 billion. Its prior guidance was for $2.7 billion to $2.8 billion. It still expects adjusted earnings in a range of $2.50 to $2.65 per share.

Analysts expect earnings of $2.63 per share on revenue of $2.72 billion.

Wolverine shares finished at $44.73 on Monday. They have traded in a 52-week range of $34 to $47.99.