Despite Earnings Beat, Steve Madden Is Still ‘Cautious’ on Near-Term Outlook — Here’s Why

Steven Madden Ltd. delivered a first-quarter earnings and sales beat — but the company expressed a note of caution in the months ahead.

For the three months ended March 31, the New York-based retailer logged adjusted profits of $26.9 million, or earnings of 33 cents per share, compared with the prior year period’s profits of $13 million, or earnings of 16 cents per share. Wall Street had predicted earnings of 17 cents per share. Revenues also increased 0.5% to $361 million, versus analysts’ estimates of $335.3 million.

In a statement, chairman and CEO Edward Rosenfeld suggested that Steve Madden was “off to a good start” to the year, with first-quarter results that “significantly exceeded” the company’s expectations. He added, “The on-trend product assortments created by Steve and our design teams are resonating with consumers, as evidenced by the performance in our retail segment.”

During the period, revenues for Steve Madden’s wholesale business fell 3.7% to $291.4 million, with a 7.8% decline in footwear partially offset by a 10.3% rise in wholesale accessories and apparel. On the other hand, retail sales were $67.5 million — a 27.5% jump, driven by a solid performance in e-commerce.

Still, the chain remained watchful in its outlook for the second quarter: It anticipated revenues in the range of $360 million to $365 million, as well as earnings per share between 26 cents and 28 cents. It did not offer guidance for the rest of the fiscal year.

“Looking ahead, while we are cautious on the near-term outlook due to the continued negative impacts of COVID-19 and supply chain disruption, we remain confident that our strong brands and proven business model will enable us to drive sustainable revenue and earnings growth over the long term,” Rosenfeld explained.

Last quarter, the chief executive lamented the impact of congestion at the West Coast ports on its supply chain, noting that such disruption could contribute to a $30 million revenue impact in Q1. Government-mandated store closures have also weighed on the retailer’s balance sheet. (It currently has 215 company-operated retail stores, plus 17 company-operated concessions in international markets.)

Steve Madden ended the most recent three-month period with cash, equivalents and short-term investments totaling $273 million. As of 8:30 a.m. ET, during Wednesday premarket trading, its stock was down 2.5% to $41.40.

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