Light-Up Sneakers & Camila Cabello Propel Skechers to Blockbuster Q4

skechers, sneaker, back to school
Skechers S Lights: Glimmer Lights.
Courtesy of Skechers

Skechers USA Inc. has found the light.

The Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based casual sneaker maker today reported fourth-quarter results that significantly surpassed market watchers’ forecasts — sending shares climbing nearly 4 percent to $39.60 in after-hours trading.

The firm said its Q4 sales advanced 27 percent year-over-year to $970.6 million — that’s $90 million higher than the $881.4 million analysts were expecting.

Adjusted profits, at 21 cents per share, also blew past estimates calling for diluted earning per share of 13 cents. On a reported basis, Skechers posted a net loss of $66.7 million, or 43 cents per diluted share.

skechers store in china A Skechers store in China. Courtesy of brand

The brand, which has enjoyed solid momentum in recent years, has seen growth further accelerate in recent months as interest in its children’s light-up sneakers has exploded — this was particularly true during the all-important gift-giving December holiday season.

Skechers’ ability to tap buzzy ambassadors — recently, popular singer Camila Cabello — is also reaping dividends, CEO Robert Greenberg noted. “[Skechers’] growth is due to our continued focus on efficiencies and infrastructure, as well as innovation, comfort and relevancy within our product design,” Greenberg said in a release. “Our team of legendary athletes and international celebrities, including [Cabello], drove worldwide appeal in marketing campaigns that represent our diverse product offering — from our heritage retro styling to the innovation and comfort that have become hallmarks of Skechers footwear.”

With international sales remaining a bright spot for the brand — combined international wholesale and retail sales represented 53 percent of total sales during the period — the firm scored record sales during Singles’ Day in China. Overall, international wholesale sales soared 40.2 percent while domestic wholesale sales increased 11.6 percent. Company-owned global retail sales rose 25.8 percent and comparable same-store sales increased 12 percent globally.

Skechers store Inside a Skechers store. Courtesy of brand

“As we look ahead, with fresh styles shipping for spring, we believe we will remain a leader in the lifestyle footwear channel in the United States, selectively expand our retail footprint and continue our global growth as we see our international business becoming an increasingly larger piece of our total business,” Greenberg said.

For the full year, Skechers sales rose 17 percent to $4.2 billion, and adjusted diluted EPS grew 13.4 percent to $1.78.

The brand projects its Q1 sales will range from $1.18 billion to $1.2 billion, and diluted EPS will land between 70 cents and 75 cents.