Skechers USA, Inc. SKX registered second straight quarter of positive earnings surprise, when it reported fourth-quarter 2018 results. Management’s first-quarter 2019 earnings view is also above the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Cumulatively, these raised investor’s sentiment sidelining the second consecutive quarter of sales miss. Moreover, both the top and bottom lines grew year over year.
Shares of this Manhattan Beach, CA-based company surged roughly 18% during the after-market trading session on Feb 7. We note that shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock have gained 11.1% in a month compared with the industry’s advancement of 7.3%.
The company witnessed sales growth of 17.9% across its international business, comprising company-owned retail, distributor, subsidiary and joint venture, and sales increase of 4.1% at its domestic business. The international business remains a significant growth driver. Of late, Skechers completed the transition of India joint venture to a wholly owned subsidiary and entered into a deal to form a joint venture in Mexico with its current distribution partner.
Let’s Delve Deep
This designer, developer, marketer and distributor of footwear recorded earnings of 31 cents a share that beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 23 cents and management’s projection of 20-25 cents. We also note that in spite of increase in cost of sales and higher operating expenses bottom line surged 47.6%. Certainly, healthy top line fueled growth.
The company delivered net sales of $1,080.8 million that increased 11.4% (or 13.7% on a constant currency basis) from the year-ago quarter but came below of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,097 million. We also note that the top line fell short of management’s guidance of $1,100-$1,125 million.
Skechers’ domestic e-commerce business contributed to sales growth in the quarter, registering an increase of 8.9%.
Gross profit for the reported quarter grew 13.6% to $515.7 million, while gross margin expanded 90 basis points (bps) to 47.7% on account of solid domestic margin due to higher retail prices and improved product mix, partly offset by adverse foreign currency exchange rates. Operating income came in at $83.7 million, up 50.4% from the prior-year quarter, while operating margin increased 200 bps to 7.7%.
Skechers U.S.A., Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Skechers U.S.A., Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Skechers U.S.A., Inc. Quote
Segmental Sales Synopsis
Skechers’ domestic wholesale business sales grew 4.8% year over year in the quarter under review, after declining 3% in the preceding quarter.
The international wholesale business sales, which constituted 44.3% of total sales, advanced 18.4% on the back of 19.5% increase in joint venture business and 14.4% growth in international subsidiary business. The company’s international distributor business surged 19.7%. China remains one of the important markets with about 22.8 million pairs shipped in 2018, and ended the year with roughly 876 Skechers freestanding stores and 2,390 points of sale. Business in China grew 21.5% during the quarter.
On a combined basis, global company-owned retail business sales grew 7.5%. Comparable store sales in company-owned retail stores, including e-commerce, rose 1.1%, reflecting an increase of 3% and 0.4% in its international stores and in the United States, respectively.
Skechers operated 692 company-owned retail outlets globally, comprising 222 international locations at the end of the quarter under review. During the quarter, the company opened 11 stores, remodeled five, relocated five and expanded three locations. So far in the first quarter of 2019, the company has opened two outlets and closed four.
During the quarter, 195 third-party owned stores were opened and 40 stores were shuttered. So far in the first quarter of 2019, the company has opened 25 third-party owned stores and closed three stores. The company plans to open more than 500 third-party owned Skechers branded stores in 2019.
Other Financial Aspects
Skechers ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $872.2 million, long-term borrowings (net of current installments) of $88.1 million, and shareholders’ equity of $2,035 million, excluding non-controlling interest of $154.3 million.
During the quarter, the company bought back roughly 1.7 million shares at a cost of $41.9 million under its existing share buyback program. The company still has approximately $50 million as of Dec 31, 2018.
Capital expenditures incurred during the quarter were $45.6 million on store openings, remodels, international wholesale operations and expansion of domestic distribution center. Management now envisions capital expenditures of about $275-$300 million for 2019.
Management now projects first-quarter 2019 earnings between 70 cents and 75 cents a share compared with 75 cents delivered in the year-ago period. We note that the company’s guided range is up from the current Zacks Consensus Estimate of 65 cents, which could witness an upward revision in the coming days.
Additionally, the company anticipates first-quarter net sales in the band of $1.275-$1.300 billion compared with $1.250 billion reported in the prior-year quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is $1.32 billion.
While providing the guidance, the company has considered the existing foreign-exchange headwinds and shift in some sales from the first quarter to the second quarter due to the timing of Easter this year.
Looking for High Performance Stocks
Columbia Sportswear COLM delivered average positive earnings surprise of 83.5% in the trailing four quarters. It sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. BOOT has a long-term earnings growth rate of 20.7% and a Zacks Rank #1.
Foot Locker, Inc. FL has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7.5% and carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All
Last year, it generated $8 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $47 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce ""the world's first trillionaires,"" but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.
See Zacks' 3 Best Stocks to Play This Trend >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Boot Barn Holdings, Inc. (BOOT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research