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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.


Jeremy Bowman and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.