Columbia Sportswear Company (COLM - Free Report) looks promising as the company’s shares have not only gained but also outperformed the industry and the overall sector in a year’s time. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has gained approximately 48.1% compared with the industry’s rise of 34.2% and the overall sector’s growth of 7.7%.
That said, let’s delve into the factors that make this Oregon-based company a solid pick.
Project CONNECT Bodes Well
Columbia Sportswear is on track with its Project CONNECT program, which is likely to drive sales and earnings, alongside strengthening the company’s financial position. Announced in 2017, the project aims at enhancing the company’s performance by working on its four core strategies. Project CONNECT focuses on connecting consumers, wholesale customers and international distributors with its manufacturing partners and employees around the globe. Markedly, the program is expected to enhance revenues, capture cost of sales efficiencies, improve marketing efforts and lower SG&A expenses.
Strong International Presence
Columbia Sportswear boasts a solid international presence. The widespread global reach provides the company a firm business foundation and enables it to seek new opportunities to enhance profitability. In fact, the company’s advancement in the EMEA region has been impressive lately, especially due to Europe-direct business and greater sales to EMEA distributors. Sales from the international markets remained strong in the second quarter of 2018, driven by strength in Europe-direct, Japan and China businesses. Notably, Columbia Sportswear is committed toward strengthening its digital wholesale and e-commerce channels in China.
Direct-to-Consumer Business a Major Growth Driver
Columbia Sportswear is on track to expand and enhance its global direct-to-consumer (DTC) business through accelerated investments. Notably, this constituted 40% of the company’s total revenues in 2017, wherein DTC sales increased at a high single-digit rate year over year. Encouragingly, management expects DTC revenue growth to outpace the same at wholesale channels in 2018. Courtesy of strength in the DTC business and enhanced wholesale business, Columbia Sportswear’s U.S. business witnessed growth of 13% in the first half of 2018. Within the DTC business, both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses were strong and surpassed the company’s expectations in the first half.
Solid Q2 & Upbeat FY18 View Drive Estimates
Columbia Sportswear’s solid strategies helped it post robust second-quarter 2018 results, wherein both top and bottom lines improved year over year and came ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. While the top line marked its sixth straight quarter of beat, the bottom line delivered positive surprise for 22 quarters in a row now. Encouragingly, management raised its outlook for 2018. Adjusted earnings per share is now projected to be $3.37-$3.47 compared with the prior outlook of $3.27-$3.37. Net sales growth is now expected to be 9-10.5% year over year compared with the prior view of 8-10%.
Clearly, analysts are more constructive on the stock’s ongoing performance as estimates for Columbia Sportswear have moved up in the past seven days. Earnings estimates for 2018 have moved north by a penny to $3.48.
All said, we expect the company to continue with its splendid growth story.
Looking for More Trending Picks?
Some other top-ranked stocks in the same industry are lululemon athletica inc. (LULU - Free Report) , Guess?, Inc. (GES - Free Report) and G-III Apparel Group LTD (GIII - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
lululemon has a long-term earnings growth rate of 19.2%.
Guess has a long-term earnings growth rate of 17.5%.
G-III Apparel has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15%.
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