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By
Reuters
Published
Apr 26, 2012
Reading time
2 minutes
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Skechers sees profit rebound in 2nd half

By
Reuters
Published
Apr 26, 2012

Skechers USA Inc said it expects to return to profitability in the second half of 2012, after the shoemaker lost less money than expected in the first quarter, boosting its stock as much as 18 percent.


Skechers's GOwalk range / Photo: Skechers


Skechers - a leading maker of toning shoes - said it will benefit from clearing out its inventory, which has weighed on its performance over the past several quarters.

The company, which has posted losses in three of the last four quarters, is also banking on several new products and higher prices to help it turn its business around.

Skechers, which competes with Deckers Outdoor Corp, Wolverine Worldwide Inc and VF Corp's Timberland, on Wednesday posted a lower than expected loss as higher product prices boosted gross margins.

Gross margins in the first quarter rose to 44.3 percent from 40.4 percent in the year-ago period.

"With more full-price product at market, our gross margin percentage improved significantly," Chief Financial Officer David Weinberg said.

For the first quarter, Skechers posted a net loss of $3.7 million, or 7 cents per share, compared with a profit of $11.8 million, or 24 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts had expected a loss of 27 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales dropped 26 percent to $351.3 million but were above analysts' expectations of $336.4 million.

On Monday, rival Wolverine Worldwide posted results that beat analysts' forecasts, and gave a full-year profit outlook that trumped Wall Street expectations.

Deckers will report earnings later this week.

Shares of Skechers, based in Manhattan Beach, California, rose to $17.55 after closing at $14.92 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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