Deckers Soars Amid Cold Snap

Strong sales of cold weather boots and the Ugg Australia label boosted Deckers Outdoor Corp.’s earnings in the fourth quarter, besting analysts’ estimates and prompting the company to issue optimistic guidance for fiscal 2014.

The Goleta, Calif.-based firm reported a 45.8 percent increase in fourth-quarter net income to $140.9 million, or $4.04 a diluted share, compared with $98.1 million, or $2.77, in the prior corresponding period. The result beat analysts’ consensus forecast of $3.80.

Sales for the quarter rose 19.2 percent to $736 million, driven by a strong performance of the Ugg brand across distribution channels. Results topped analysts’ consensus estimate of $711.7 million.

For the period, Ugg revenue rose 18.1 percent to $690.9 million.

“We are looking forward to capitalizing on the spring fever that is bound to come [soon] following this long and difficult winter,” Deckers Chairman, President and CEO Angel Martinez said on a conference call with analysts and investors, noting the company plans to sharpen its marketing push for its Ugg and Sanuk brands in 2014.

On the quarterly result, Martinez said in a statement, “Our sales and earnings growth were driven by strong full-price selling throughout each of our distribution channels and geographic regions.

“The power of the Ugg brand was on full display during the recent holiday season, as consumers responded very positively to our most complete product line ever,” he added.

For the full year, Deckers posted earnings of $145.7 million, or $4.18 a diluted share, compared with $129 million, or $3.45. Sales for the period rose 10.1 percent to $1.55 billion.

Martinez said the company’s inventories cleared through fiscal 2014 and retailers’ orders for fall have been strong. “We estimate some fall orders came in early this year versus last year based on the strong sell-through in the fourth quarter of 2013,” he said on the call.

Deckers management predicted a 10 percent sales boost in fiscal 2014 on diluted earnings per share growth of 8 percent.

“Looking ahead, we expect to be well positioned to execute our consumer-centric growth strategy with compelling new product introductions, engaging store experiences and a dynamic online offering,” Martinez said in the statement.

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