Why Shares of Columbia Sportswear Co. Got Elevated

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Columbia Sportswear  (NASDAQ: COLM  ) were looking durable today, gaining as much as 12% after a strong fourth-quarter earnings report. 

So what: The outdoor-apparel company soared past expectations, posting a profit of $1.21 a share versus the estimate of just $0.92. Sales increased a modest 6% to $533 million, also topping the consensus of $497 million. CEO Tim Boyle said in the release that the company was seeing "strong sales momentum" and that "wholesale customers are exhibiting a greater appetite for ... our new fall 2014 line," which has led to renewed growth expectations for Columbia's wholesale business. 

Now what: Fashion is notoriously volatile, and Columbia seems to be benefiting from an unexpected upswing, as analysts had actually expected sales to fall in the quarter. The company's 2014 guidance was also much stronger than expected; Columbia sees sales growth of 15%-17%, well ahead of the estimate of just 7% growth, in part thanks to its new China joint venture. Making the report even sweeter for investors was Columbia's decision to hike its quarterly dividend 12% to $0.28 per share. Given the strong across-the-board numbers and increased dividend, 2014 certainly looks like a promising year for the outdoor specialist. You can keep an eye on Columbia by adding it to your Watchlist here. 

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