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Why Wolverine World Wide, Inc. Shares Jumped

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 Wolverine World Wide (NYSE: WWW  ) were looking fierce today, climbing as much as 13% after a strong first quarter earnings report.  

So what: The maker of footwear brands including Merrell and Saucony beat EPS estimates by $0.08, posting a per-share profit of $0.38, while revenues ticked down 2.8% to $627.6 million, but still edged past expectations at $626.7 million. Wolverine said the revenue decline was due to soft traffic at U.S stores, in part because of poor winter weather, the realignment of Sperry Top-Sider's U.S. distribution, and the shift in Easter sales to the second quarter. Still, gross margin improved 20 basis points to 40.8%, and CEO Blake Krueger called the quarter's earnings performance "excellent."

Now what: Looking ahead, Wolverine reaffirmed its financial forecasts with full-year adjusted EPS growing 10%-14% to a range of $1.57 to $1.63, in line with analyst estimates at $1.59, and revenue growth of 3%-6% to a range of $2.78 billion to $2.85 billion. Analysts had expected sales of $2.8 billion for the year. While declining revenue is never a good sign, Wolverine's forecast indicates the drop was just a one-off event. Look for sales growth to return in its next report, but if the sluggishness continues, that could be a warning sign that tough times are ahead, and the stock could take a beating.

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Jeremy Bowman

Fool since 2011. I write about consumer goods, the big picture, and whatever else piques my interest. Follow me on Twitter to see my latest articles, and for commentary on hot topics in retail and the broad market.

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9/4/2015 4:02 PM
WWW $27.21 Down -0.27 -0.98%
Wolverine World Wi… CAPS Rating: *****