Steve Madden Stock Surges on Stellar Q4 Performance — Investors Upbeat Despite Payless Bankruptcy

Steven Madden Ltd. is riding high on Wall Street.

The Long Island City, N.Y.-based shoes- and accessories-maker saw its stock pop 6 percent to $34.76 as of 10:30 a.m. ET after reporting yet another positive earnings season.

For the fourth quarter, Steve Madden recorded profits of $12.5 million, or 15 cents per diluted share, compared with $24.6 million, or 28 cents, in the prior-year period. On an adjusted basis, the bottom line improved 30 percent year over year to $35.7 million, or 42 cents per diluted share — trumping earnings estimates of 38 cents.

The company noted a 12.6 percent increase in sales to $410.4 million, compared with $364.4 million in the same period in 2017. That figure was also ahead of consensus bets of $402 million.

The report comes only a week after Payless ShoeSource announced the liquidation of all 2,500 of its North American stores in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Steve Madden has had a long-standing relationship with the discount footwear retailer, prompting analysts to lower their guidance on its stock due to a potential hit in sales.

Despite the Payless bankruptcy, Steve Madden chairman and CEO Edward Rosenfeld said, “While we face a near-term headwind due to the bankruptcy of Payless ShoeSource, a significant private-label customer for the company, we are confident that our diversified business model positions us for long-term growth and value creation going forward.”

Additionally, wholesale revenue climbed 14.1 percent to $317.4 million in the fourth quarter, and retail sales also improved 7.9 percent to $93 million. Same-store sales grew 4 percent, driven by a solid showing in Steve Madden’s e-commerce business.

For the full year, revenues rose 7 percent to $1.65 billion, from $1.55 billion in the prior year. Profits were $129.1 million, or $1.50 per diluted share. (The 2017 numbers yielded $117.9 million, or $1.36 per diluted share.) On an adjusted basis, profits were up 22 percent to $157.7 million, or $1.83 per diluted share.

“The trend-right product assortments created by Steve and his design team drove robust gains in our flagship Steve Madden brand in both footwear and handbags. We also saw outstanding growth in Blondo and in our private-label accessories business,” Rosenfeld added. “As we look ahead, we are encouraged by the strong momentum in our core business and the progress we are making on our key strategic initiatives.”

Looking forward, Steve Madden expects fiscal 2019 net sales to increase 4 percent to 6 percent over net sales in 2018. The company also anticipates diluted EPS in the range of $1.70 to $1.78 and adjusted diluted EPS to land between $1.75 and $1.83.

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