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Wolverine Posts Robust 4Q

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Strong performance of the legacy and Performance + Lifestyle Group (PLG)  businesses facilitated Wolverine World Wide Inc. (WWW - Free Report) to post fourth quarter 2012 earnings of 48 cents a share that zoomed past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 16 cents and increased 2.1% year over year. However, including one-time items, the company reported a loss of 8 cents.

Wolverine, which competes with Deckers Outdoor Corporation (DECK - Free Report) , reported consolidated net sales of $652.2 million, up 60.5% year over year but missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $655 million. However, excluding revenues from the PLG acquisition, revenues came in at $432.8 million.

Coming to the operating groups, revenues inched up 1.7% year over year to $143.5 million for Outdoor, while it increased 7.9% year over year to $170.8 million for Heritage. Lifestyle group revenues improved 2.8% to $58.9 million during the quarter. Besides these groups, revenues derived from the company’s other brands jumped 48.1% to $7.5 million, while business units, comprising Wolverine retail and leathers, posted a revenue increase of 53.9% to reach $11.6 million.

Revenues from PLG group came in at $150.2 million during the quarter, while retail revenues (including PLG's direct to consumer business) came in at $109.7 million.

Gross profit (including PLG acquisition) jumped 59.4% year over year to $239.3 million during the quarter, whereas gross margin contracted 20 basis points to 36.7%.

Operating profit, including one-time items (acquisition related costs), came in at $7.6 million, plummeting from $30.9 million in the comparable prior-year period, while operating margin decreased to 1.2% from 7.6% in the year-ago quarter.

During the quarter, Wolverine sealed the previously announced acquisition of Collective Brands’ Performance + Lifestyle Group (PLG) unit for $1.25 billion. The PLG unit sells footwear and related products, both wholesale and retail, for children and adults under popular brands including Stride Rite, Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony and Keds.

The deal is expected to provide ample opportunities to Wolverine to boost its growth prospects while facilitating the company to enhance its portfolio of brands.

Other Financial Aspects

Wolverine ended the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $171.4 million with net debt of $1,080 million and shareholders’ equity of $643.7 million.

Guidance Remains Strong

Going forward, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock expects fiscal 2013 consolidated revenues to be in the range of $2.7 to $2.8 billion, up 64.5% to 70.6% year over year. However, on a pro-forma basis revenues are expected to increase in the range of 6% to 9.9%. Gross margin is expected to improve moderately in fiscal 2013, while adjusted EBITDA is expected to be in the range of $330 million to $345 million compared with adjusted EBITDA of $220.8 million in fiscal 2012.

Adjusted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $2.50 to $2.65, reflecting year-over-year growth of 9.2% to 15.7%.

Other Stocks to Consider

Until any further upward revision in the rating of Wolverine, other stocks in the same industry worth considering include Skechers USA Inc. (SKX - Free Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Adidas AG (ADDYY - Free Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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