Columbia Delivers Earnings Beat Despite ‘Steepest’ Quarterly Decline in Sales

The coronavirus pandemic has made a significant dent in Columbia Sportswear Company’s balance sheet — but it still delivered an earnings beat.

The athletic and outdoor retail conglomerate posted a net loss of $50.7 million, or a loss of 77 cents per share, compared with the prior year’s income of $23 million, or earnings of 34 cents per share. Its sales, on the other hand, declined 40% to $316.6 million. However, Wall Street had forecasted a loss of 79 cents per share and revenues of $304.17 million.

What’s more, Columbia’s e-commerce business advanced 72% year over year, partially offsetting physical store traffic and sales trends, which it added remained “well below” pre-pandemic levels.

“Although uncertainty remains unprecedented, we expect sales volume to remain below prior-year levels for the balance of the year,” chairman, president and CEO Tim Boyle said in a statement. “Absent further deterioration in trends due to the ongoing pandemic, we anticipate the second quarter will prove to be the steepest year-over-year quarterly percent decline in net sales of the year.”

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The vast majority of Columbia’s outposts across the United States, Europe, Japan and Canada were forced to temporarily shut down as the COVID-19 outbreak spread around the world. (Many of its wholesale customers and international distributors also closed their doors.)

In May and June, the company began its reopening process, leaving nearly all of its owned units open as it exited the second quarter. It shared that it is continuing to evaluate actions to rightsize its brick-and-mortar fleet.

During the first half of the fiscal year, the company posted a net loss of $50.5 million, or 76 cents per share, compared with the prior year’s profits of $97.2 million, or $1.41 per share. Its sales declined 25% to $884.8 million.

As of June 30, the company’s cash, equivalents and short-term investments totaled $475.8 million.

“We remain acutely focused on cost containment while also continuing to invest in our strategic priorities. I’m confident our global team of employees, powerful brand portfolio, strong financial position and operating discipline will all contribute to Columbia Sportswear emerging from this crisis in a stronger competitive position.”

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