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What: Shares of Skechers USA, Inc. (SKX -1.00%) were standing tall today, gaining as much as 20% after soaring past earnings estimates in its fourth-quarter report.
So what: The casual footwear maker said earnings per share jumped from $0.08 a year ago to $0.28, topping estimates of just $0.16. Sales improved 13.9% in the quarter to $450.7 million, ahead of the analyst consensus at $447 million as COO/CFO David Weinberg said the year's momentum continued into the fourth quarter with "strong product successes" across all categories. Same-store sales jumped 12.8% at the company's retail outlets, further demonstrating the quarter's strong across-the-board performance.
Now what: Skechers did not provide guidance for 2014, but the company seems poised for continued growth on top and bottom lines in the new year. Gross margin improved 190 points last quarter, and increasing international sales are helping moderate the company's tax rate, which fell to 26% from an earlier projected rate of 31.9%. CEO Robert Greenberg also said a more diversified product approach helped drive the company's performance as boot sales jumped due to extreme weather in the Northeast and Midwest. I'd expect that shift to keep paying off in the coming quarters.