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Iconix Brand Group, Inc. (ICON - Analyst Report) posted second quarter 2012 results with adjusted earnings of 45 cents per share, up 4.7% year over year. Earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 40 cents per share by 12.5%. The strong results were driven by overall revenue growth and a completion of a joint venture in India.
Quarter in Detail
Total revenue in the quarter grew 5.0% year over year to $93.6 million, due to overall growth in most of the segments and the completion of a joint venture in India, which contributed $5.6 million. Revenue surpassed the Zacks Consensus Revenue Estimate of $86 million.
On a year-ago basis, EBITDA decreased marginally by 0.5% to $58.4 million in the second quarter. EBITDA margin, however, contracted 300 basis points to 62% from 65%, owing to a stronger performance of the low margin PEANUTS business in 2012.
Iconix exited the quarter with free cash flow of $51.9 million, as compared to $47.4 million at the end of the first quarter of 2012. Under the $200 million share repurchase program which was authorized in October 2011, Iconix repurchased shares worth $50 million at a weighted average price of $15.58 in the reported quarter. The company has approximately $93 million remaining under the share repurchase program.
International Joint Ventures
The company is focused on brand building in the global market in order to ensure future profitability. During the second quarter of 2012, it completed its fourth international joint venture with Reliance Brands Limited in India.
The completion of the joint venture contributed significant top-line growth in the second quarter of 2012. The Indian joint venture was an addition to the partnerships in China, Europe and Latin America.
The company has entered into two direct to retail partnerships in Europe, namely, Material Girl with Auto and Ocean Pacific with the U.K.-based SportsDirect. In the coming months, Iconix is aiming to set up its third direct to retail partnership in Europe.
Iconix reconfirmed its guidance for fiscal 2012 at the second quarter conference call. The company expects its adjusted earnings in the range of $1.65 –$1.74 per share. Iconix reconfirmed its revenue target for this year to be in the range of $340–$350 million.
For fiscal 2012, the company expects its free cash flow in the range of $174–$181 million. The company does not include the impact of the acquisitions in the guidance provided.
Considering the impact of seasonality, the company expects lower revenue and earnings in the second half of 2012 compared to the first half; due to the royalty structures for direct to retail partnerships and the completion of the Indian joint venture in the second quarter.
The stock carries a Zacks #2 Rank (short-term Buy rating). We appreciate the better than expected performance of the company in the second quarter 2012, particularly the completion of the Indian joint venture. The company’s brand building strategy for the international market seems to benefit its profitability.