Market Watch: Wolverine, VF Corp. Kick Off Earnings Season

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, July 15:
Wolverine World Wide Inc. Q2 results
U.S. retail sales for June
U.S. business inventories for May

Wednesday, July 16:
U.S. producer price index for June
U.S. industrial production for June

Thursday, July 17:
U.S. initial weekly jobless claims
U.S. continuing weekly jobless claims

Friday, July 18:
VF Corporation Q2 results
U.S. leading indicators for June

Stock Watch

With the 2014 FIFA World Cup now done and dusted, investors will be looking for an update on overall spring and summer footwear reorder activity from retailers when Wolverine World Wide Inc. kicks off earnings season on Tuesday.

The Street forecasts that the company will post sales of $608.8 million on diluted earnings per share of 27 cents, driven by the improved performance of Wolverine’s Sperry Top-Sider brand.

“We’re encouraged by recent Sperry trends at retail, which could result in some upside to Wolverine’s Sperry guidance, but maybe not as much upside as the retail improvement suggests, as retailers were probably working through some old first-quarter inventory,” Baird Equity Research analyst Mitch Kummetz said.

Despite the slow start to spring, Kummetz said he expects that the company will have benefited from stronger overall reorder activity in the second quarter, which looks higher than a year earlier, he noted.

“This year, despite the late start to spring, the weather finally turned on, and spring and summer reorders were better than a year ago — according to the independent footwear retailers we survey — especially on sandals,” Kummetz said.

“A year ago, Wolverine’s second-quarter sales fell short of consensus, with the company noting that Merrell weakness was partly due to the nonexistent spring season,” he added.

Analysts expect sales of Wolverine’s Merrell brand to improve in the second half due to retailers taking a more aggressive approach to their fall preorders, driven by strong demand for boots.

Meanwhile, all eyes will also be on VF Corporation, which is slated to deliver its second-quarter results on Friday. The Street is forecasting the company to post sales of $2.36 billion on EPS of 35 cents.

Analysts remain bullish on the company’s long-term prospects, given recent strong sales growth in outdoor and action sports goods, as well as its robust international and direct-to-consumer businesses.

Similar to Wolverine, market watchers expect VF Corp. was also a beneficiary of stronger reorder activity from retailers in the second quarter year-on-year.

VF Corp. is targeting revenue of $17.3 billion on EPS of $4.50 for fiscal 2017, driven by an increased focus on its higher-margin busines

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