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Wolverine (WWW) Benefits From E-commerce & Brand Strength

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Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (WWW - Free Report) looks great on the back of its diversified global business model, brand strength and enhanced digital capabilities. Further, the company is smoothly progressing on its Global Growth Agenda initiative. Undeniably, its actions to mitigate the impact of the ongoing crisis and sturdy first-quarter 2021 results are also contributing to the stock’s solid run on the bourses. Markedly, this Rockford, MI-based company’s shares have rallied 20.1% in the past six months, ahead of its industry’s rise of 0.4%.

Let’s explore this currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock.

E-commerce Fuels Growth

Among Wolverine’s sales channels, e-commerce is a consistent key driver. The company continues to utilize its digital capabilities for enhancing the speed of information and product flow alongside strengthening its distribution centers to support growth in the digital arena. For 2021, management targets achieving $500 million in digital revenues.

Notably, e-commerce business remained strong in the first quarter of 2021. The company leveraged higher digital marketing investments to boost traffic as well as deepened its focus on better merchandising to optimize conversion. We note that the company-owned e-commerce business was the principal catalyst, up 83.6% year over year on gains from the company’s global digital strategy. Also, its direct-to-consumer channels have been strong for a while now.

Brandwise, saucony.com registered growth of above 150% year over year on compelling digital storytelling and product launches. Moreover, Merrell.com revenues increased approximately 135% and that of Sperry.com jumped 40% year over year in the first quarter. Over the next few months, management expects integrating and launching various innovation and technologies including a Merrell mobile app.

Other Initiatives

Wolverine focuses on developing brands that suit consumer needs aptly on the back of = accurate market insights. Going forward, management is committed toward product innovations and rollouts across Saucony and Merrell brands. Also, the Merrell label is well-poised on its outdoor performance and lifestyle businesses. In addition, the company’s work boot category appears strong.

Coming to the company’s brand performance in the first quarter, Saucony revenues soared nearly 60% with growth across all regions. Merrell brand’s revenues were up about 25%, witnessing strength in all geographies, led by a robust performance in EMEA. Moreover, the company’s work business, which represented nearly 20% of its revenues in the first quarter, registered significant increases, attributable to Wolverine, which was up 30% and Cat footwear surging more than 30%. Although Sperry brand was soft in the quarter, management expects the same to resume growth for the remainder of 2021.

Furthermore, Wolverine’s solid international presence is visibly quite encouraging. During the March quarter of 2021, the company's international business was up 40%, registering growth of more than 35% in every region.

Few Solid Picks in the Same Sector

Crocs (CROX - Free Report) has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Columbia Sportswear (COLM - Free Report) is presently a Zacks #1 Ranked stock and has a long-term earnings growth rate of 32%.

GIII-Apparel Group (GIII - Free Report) has a long-term earnings growth rate of 11.6% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present.

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