Overheard On Wall Street: 3 Things We’ve Learned So Far In Q2

Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged New Colors
Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged in Navy and Khaki for men.
Courtesy of brand.

The first half of 2016 is in the books, and we’re now getting the first look at how publicly traded footwear firms performed in their second quarter.

As is always the case, it has been a mixed bag to this point, with Skechers USA Inc., Under Armour, Wolverine World Wide Inc., Adidas and other shoe companies offering up a full serving of financial information and go-forward plans to chew on.

Here is a roundup of three things we’ve learned so far in Q2.

Inventory Issues Linger

By now, it is well known that a tough 2015 holiday quarter left seasonal inventories high, but what may surprise some is the fact that those issues persist.

Although the company posted a better-than-expected Q1, Ugg and Teva parent Deckers Brands saw its inventory rise 25.6 percent versus sales contraction of 18.4 percent in Q1 (reported this week), while Columbia Sportswear saw its Q2 inventory growth, at 12.5 percent, outpace sales growth of 2.2 percent.

In the case of Deckers, Canaccord Genuity Inc. analyst Camilo Lyon explained that “carry-over inventory from last fall [and] receipts on new products are just beginning to ship now,” while the majority of Columbia’s inventory is fall ’16 product, according to the analyst.

VF Corp. also said it was continuing to work through elevated inventories at its footwear brands Vans and Timberland. Revenues for Vans gained 4 percent in Q2, but the brand experienced a high single-digit percentage rate decrease in Europe, where it continues to work through excess inventories. Timberland brand revenue was down 7 percent, also due to a “short-term inventory imbalance versus a brand issue,” according to management.

Adidas & Puma Are Killing It

When Footwear News spoke with analysts and retailers for its back-to-school trend preview earlier this month, two names ranked high on their must-have lists: Adidas and Puma.

Now there is even more evidence that these athletic brands have hit their stride.

Adidas released preliminary results this week, revealing a 99 percent rise in net income to 291 million euros, or $327.2 million, while revenues totaled 4.4 billion euros, or $4.95 billion, up 13 percent in reported terms and 21 percent on a constant-exchange basis.

Meanwhile, Puma took a lot of credit for boosting its parent company Kering’s earnings in Q2 and the first half. Puma brought in the lion’s share of revenues in Kering’s Sport & Lifestyle division, posting 1.7 billion euros, or $1.9 billion, in sales for the first half. (Puma’s revenues in the second quarter rose 7 percent to 826.5 million euros, or $915.4 million.)

Under Armour Has Big Plans

For anyone sitting at the table for Under Armour’s serving of Q2 earnings, it was indeed a full-course meal.

The Baltimore-based brand posted a mostly in-line second quarter, but its healthy serving of expansion plans stole the show. Company founder, chairman and CEO Kevin Plank told investors and analysts that the company is set to take over the former FAO Schwarz building — a 53,000-sq.-ft. space — on Fifth Avenue in New York to create “the most breathtaking and exciting consumer experience ever conceived at retail.” The space is in a high-traffic area and is in one of Manhattan’s most famous neighborhoods. Plank said he expects UA to land in the space by 2019.

Under Armour’s chief also said the brand had inked a new deal with Kohl’s. UA will now be distributed in 1,100 Kohl’s stores globally, starting in 2017. Plank said he views the partnership as an opportunity to further tap into the female customer base.