What: Skechers (NYSE:SKX) stock jumped 37% higher during the month of July, according to S&P Capital IQ data. The bounce put shares at a new all-time high and pushed them up by nearly 200%, year-to-date.
So what: The shoe retailer's July bounce came courtesy of an impressive quarterly earnings announcement that was highlighted by 36% higher sales and a 128% jump in profits. Skechers trounced Wall Street's second-quarter estimates, outpacing the pros' sales and profit targets by $64 million and $0.56 per share, respectively.
Surging demand from a strong product lineup and an extremely effective global marketing strategy goosed results this past quarter. Comparable-store sales rose by a scorching 12% as sales hit a record $800 million. The best news for investors was the fact that this growth came despite higher shoe prices: Skechers charged 9% more per pair of shoes it delivered to wholesalers in Q2. Thanks mainly to this exercise of pricing power, operating margin surged higher by five percentage points to reach 14% of sales.
Now what: Shareholders might worry that Sketchers is living through a short-run fad that will eventually cool off. However, if that were the case we wouldn't be seeing such consistent growth across geographic regions and product categories. "At no other time in the history of our company have so many product lines resonated with consumers, giving us a broad base to continue to build upon and grow," CEO David Weinberg said in the July earnings press release.
Management's most recent forecast calls for additional profit and sales records over the coming quarters. Product backlog rose through June and order rates stayed strong for July. The company also aims to open as many as 135 new stores through 2015. Skechers' stock is valued at a pricey 36 times earnings right now, compared to Nike's 31. But investors are rewarding the smaller upstart with a premium due to its streak of market-thumping growth.