Columbia Sportswear reported fourth-quarter earnings that topped most Wall Street expectations. Earnings in the quarter were up 33.7 percent to $84.7 million, or $1.20 a share in its fourth quarter, topping Wall Street’s estimate of $1.10. Sales improved 2.6 percent to $717.5 million, coming in below the Street’s target of $756.8 million. On a currency-neutral basis, sales were up 2 percent.
In the U.S., sales increased 2 percent to $455.4 million. A low-double-digit increase in direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales was offset by a mid-single-digit decline in wholesale sales. The gains primarily reflected growth from the Columbia brand.
By brand, Columbia’s sales in the quarter increased 4 percent to $552.3 million. The gain primarily reflected increased U.S. DTC sales combined with increased sales in the EMEA region, Japan and China, partially offset by lower wholesale sales in the U.S. and Canada, as well as lower sales in Korea and to LAAP distributors.
Sorel sales decreased 1 percent (2 percent constant-currency) to $103.8 million, primarily due to sales declines in the U.S. and Canada, partially offset by increases in Europe-direct markets and Japan.
Prana’s sales increased 2 percent to $28.2 million, due largely to growth in the U.S. Mountain Hardwear’s sales decreased 11 percent (12 percent constant-currency) to $31.3 million, primarily reflecting declines in the U.S., China and Korea, partially offset by increases in Japan and EMEA.
Among categories, global apparel, accessories & equipment sales increased 4 percent to $535.8 million as increased Columbia, Sorel and Prana sales offset a low-double-digit percentage decline in Mountain Hardwear. Footwear sales decreased 1 percent (2 percent constant-currency) to $181.6 million, reflecting a 3 percent decline in Sorel, partially offset by 1 percent growth at Columbia.
In its initial forecast, Columbia said it expects 4 percent earnings growth on 4 percent sales growth for 2017.