Shares of footwear firm Wolverine World Wide
Wolverine's second-quarter sales came in a bit light of expectations, but strong inventory management and tight expense controls contributed to an earnings improvement of 12%. Better yet, the company's "innovative product offerings remain in demand and are being embraced by the global consumer," as well as brands like Merrell, Hush Puppies, and the Heritage Brands Group, which licenses the Caterpillar Cat product line and a Harley-Davidson line as well.
The solid overall sales and profitability environment led management to again increase full-year guidance -- this time to a range of $1.60-$1.64. Based on the current stock price, that represents a forward P/E of less than 18, which is definitely reasonable given Wolverine's history of high-single-digit sales growth and double-digit earnings gains.
Wolverine World Wide is clearly an appealing investment option in the footwear industry. However, the space is crowded and a number of firms are outperforming the company. Over the past couple of years, solid operational improvements have contributed to hefty stock gains at Deckers Outdoor
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Fool contributor Ryan Fuhrmann has no financial interest in any company mentioned. Feel free to email him with feedback or to discuss any companies mentioned further. The Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.