Rocky Q1 Income Up 20%

Rocky Brands Inc. improved its bottom line in the first quarter but missed estimates.

For the period ended March 31, the Nelsonville, Ohio-based firm earned $892,000, or 12 cents a share, compared with net income of $721,000, or 10 cents, in the same period a year earlier.

Net sales totaled $53.7 million, rising marginally from $53.3 million a year ago. The one analyst polled by Yahoo Finance was expecting income of 14 cents a share, on revenue of $57.6 million.

Wholesale revenues for the period slipped to $42 million, from $42.4 million in 2012. Retail sales inched up to $10.8 million, from $10.5 million, driven by a significant gain in direct-to-consumer e-commerce sales. Military sales more than doubled to $900,000, from $400,000 a year ago.

Gross margin improved 100 basis points, thanks to an increase in manufacturing efficiencies.

David Sharp, Rocky’s president and CEO, said in a statement, “Sales continue to be driven by Durango as the brand’s Western and lifestyle collections collectively were up 40 percent in the first quarter. In addition, increased military sales, combined with the initial shipments of our new private-label program, helped to offset softness in our work and commercial military categories.”

The firm’s cash and cash equivalents fell 25.1 percent to $1.9 million at the end of the period, with debt decreasing 5.9 percent to $20.3 million.

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