LaCrosse Footwear Inc. lowered costs and grew margins in the fourth quarter to surprise on the upside.
For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2010, the Portland, Ore.-based firm earned a net income of $4 million, or 60 cents a share, up 71 percent from $2.3 million, or 36 cents, in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Analysts were looking for EPS of 55 cents, as polled by Yahoo Finance.
For the full-year 2010, net income was $6.9 million, or $1.04 a share, up 25 percent from $5.5 million, or 86 cents, a year ago.
Revenue at the firm increased 23 percent to $52.1 million in the quarter and rose 8 percent to $150.5 million for the full year.
Sales in both the work and outdoor markets grew during the year, while the firm managed to improve its gross margin thanks to a reduction in the volume of close-out sales as well as a 1 percentage point reduction in operating expenses.
Work market revenues were $31.2 million for the quarter and $94.7 million for the full year of 2010, up 24 percent and 7 percent, respectively, from the corresponding periods in 2009. Increases reflected growth in sales to the U.S. government and in specialized work footwear categories, the company said.
Revenue in outdoor surged 21 percent to $20.9 million for the quarter and increased 9 percent to $55.8 million for the full year. The strong numbers in outdoor sales reflected more demand in the hunting and rugged outdoor categories.
“Looking at the full year, we saw increased demand across all of our channels and across our core work and outdoor markets, reflecting an improving economic environment and the success of our innovative new footwear,” said Joseph Schneider, president and CEO of LaCrosse, in a statement.
“As we move into 2011 … we expect to see continued quarter-to-quarter fluctuations in our business, [but] we believe LaCrosse is well-positioned to continue to capture market share over the long term,” he added.
After making capital investments of $10.6 million during 2010, LaCrosse had cash and cash equivalents of $4.3 million, compared with $17.7 million a year earlier.