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Wolverine Poised for Healthy Q4

Despite softness in its lifestyle brands, Wolverine World Wide Inc. unveiled third-quarter earnings in line with updated guidance.

The Rockford, Mich.-based firm said net earnings were $57.8 million, or 57 cents earnings per share. It was a 6 percent gain over the year-ago period when the company’s net earnings were $54.4 million, or 54 cents EPS.

Adjusted earnings were 63 cents EPS. Analysts had predicted earnings of 59 cents EPS.

Revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 6 was $711.1 million, compared with $716.6 million in the year-ago period. Analysts had predicted the firm’s revenue would be $720.4 million.

The company’s performance and heritage divisions saw low single-digit revenue growth during the quarter. The performance group, made up of Merrell, Saucony, Chaco, Cushe and Patagonia Footwear, grew 2.2 percent compared with the third quarter of 2013. The heritage group, which consists of Wolverine, Cat Footwear, Bates, Sebago, Harley-Davidson Footwear and HyTest, increased 4.6 percent compared to 2013.

The growth in the two divisions helped to offset softness in the lifestyle brands sales, which fell 6.7 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. Sperry Top-Sider registered a double-digit revenue decline.

“Revenue met our expectations as we had anticipated and guided to flat revenue. Our strong earnings performance reflects our team’s disciplined execution against our global diversified business model. Our model … helps mitigate risk as we are not dependent upon any single brand, channel, category, region or consumer group,” said Chairman and CEO Blake Kruger on a conference call Tuesday morning.

The company expects year-over-year revenue to increase 2 percent to $2.7 billion. Diluted EPS are estimated to be in the range of $1.32 to $1.38.

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