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Skechers runs strong in Q4; bullish on guidance

Strong global sales gave a big boost to Skechers in the fourth quarter.

The footwear company’s sales surged 11.4% to $1.08 billion — topping the billion dollar mark for the first time — in the quarter ended Dec. 31, driven in part by an 18.4% increase in international wholesale sales. Company-owned global retail sales rose 7.5%.

Same-store sales in company-owned retail stores, including e-commerce, increased 1.1%, which included an increase of 3% its international stores and 0.4% in the United States.

Net earnings were $47.4 million, with diluted earnings per share of 31 cents, beating Street estimates by 8 cents a share, compared to a loss of 43 cents per share in the year ago period.

“With the strength of our products, we remain the number one lifestyle casual, dress casual, walking and work brand in the United States," said CEO Robert Greenberg. "We also focused on growing our online business around the world-improving the functionality of our e-commerce sites in the United States and China, and launching an e-commerce platform in India, while also increasing our global retail footprint."

Indeed, Skechers’ international business represents its most significant growth opportunity, said COO David Weinberg.

“To maximize on that opportunity in two key areas, we recently completed the transition of our India joint venture to a wholly owned subsidiary and reached an agreement in principle to establish a joint venture in Mexico with our current distribution partner,” he added. We expect these strategic investments to be accretive to our diluted earnings per share in 2019.

Skechers provided a first quarter 2019 earnings forecast of 70 cents a share to 75 cents a share, easily topping Wall Street's expectation of 63 cents a share.

Skechers footwear is available in the United States and over 170 countries and territories worldwide via department and specialty stores, 2,998 Skechers company-owned and third-party-owned retail stores, and the company’s e-commerce websites.
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