Merrell and Sperry Parent Braces for $30 Million Sales Hit Due to Coronavirus

Wolverine World Wide Inc. is the latest company to brace for a potential coronavirus impact.

The Rockford, Mich.-based firm today released its initial revenue and earnings outlook for the full year, adjusting for a possible dent to its business due to the deadly outbreak that has claimed 2,700 lives and infected more than 80,000 people around the world.

The Merrell and Sperry parent expects sales in the range of $2.29 billion to $2.34 billion, including a revenue loss of roughly $30 million in the first half of 2020. Constant currency revenue growth is expected to be 3.5%, or 4.5% excluding the anticipated coronavirus impact.

It also predicted adjusted diluted earnings per share in the region of $2.25 to $2.40, representing a negative estimated impact of 10 cents related to foreign currency and 10 cents related to the coronavirus.

In recent years, Wolverine has diversified its supply chain away from China. This year, the country is expected to account for less than 20% of its global production, down from about 40% in fiscal 2019.

“The company is continuing to monitor and adjust to the fluid coronavirus situation and recognizes that there could be additional future impact to the global supply chain or customer demand,” it wrote in its latest financial report.

Wolverine finished off the fourth quarter on a mixed note. It posted adjusted earnings per share that rose 13.5% to 59 cents, beating analysts’ expectations of 58 cents. Revenues, however, missed forecasts, rising 4.8% to $607.4 million, compared with Wall Street’s bets of $614.23 million.

In a statement, Chairman, CEO and President Blake Krueger said, “Our fourth-quarter revenues were highlighted by mid-teens growth from our largest brands, Merrell and Sperry; acceleration in our digital-direct DTC offense; and improved international expansion. I am pleased with our performance in fiscal 2019 and proud of our team’s efforts that contributed to another record year.”

As of 11:45 a.m. ET, Wolverine’s stock was down 1.7% to $29.29.

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