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Steve Madden Posts Q4 Earnings Beat, Remains ‘Cautious’ but ‘Confident’ in Year Ahead

Steven Madden Ltd. delivered a fourth-quarter earnings and sales beat as it remained “cautious” yet “confident” in the year ahead.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the fashion footwear retailer logged adjusted profits of $21.8 million, or earnings of 27 cents per share, compared with the prior year period’s $32.2 million, or 39 cents per share. Wall Street had predicted earnings of 27 cents per share. Revenues were down 15.9% to $353 million but still beat analysts’ estimates of $345.7 million.

In a statement, chairman and CEO Ed Rosenfeld said that management was “pleased” with the fourth-quarter results, which exceeded the company’s expectations and showed “strong sequential improvement” from the third quarter — despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We faced unprecedented challenges in 2020, but we relied on our strengths — an agile business model, a strong balance sheet and our talented and resourceful employees — to successfully navigate the crisis,” he added. “We continued investing in our brands and our digital capabilities while reducing expenses in other areas, and we utilized our test-and-react strategy and speed-to-market capability to quickly adjust our product mix to align with changing consumer preferences.”

By category, retail revenues slid 14.9% to $86.1 million, attributed to a “significant decline” in its brick-and-mortar business that was partially offset by “continued strength” in e-commerce. Wholesale, on the other hand, fell 16.2% to $263 million, including a 19.7% drop in footwear and a 5.9% tumble in accessories and apparel.

For the full year, Steve Madden’s revenues fell 32.8% to $1.2 billion. On an adjusted basis, its income was $51.8 million, or earnings of 64 cents per share, versus the prior year’s $162.8 million, or $1.95 per share.

At the end of 2020, the company had cash, equivalents and short-term investments totaling $287.2 million, and its board of directors have approved the reinstatement of a quarterly cash dividend of 15 cents per share. It did not provide an outlook for the next quarter or the fiscal year.

“As we look ahead, we remain focused on delivering trend-right product; deepening connections with our consumers; enhancing our digital commerce business; and efficiently managing our inventory and expenses,” Rosenfeld said. “And while we are cautious on the near-term outlook due to continued headwinds from COVID-19, we are confident that the steps we have taken during the crisis — combined with the strength of our brands and our business model — leave us well-positioned to capitalize on market share opportunities and create value for our stakeholders over the long term.”

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