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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.