Deckers Outdoor Corp. -- Nasdaq: DECK -- reported a 4Q net sales increase of 23 percent to $25.8 million compared to $20.9 million in the same period last year. Net earnings for the quarter increased to $1,363,000, compared to net earnings of $506,000 last year, and diluted earnings per share increased 160 percent to $0.13, versus diluted earnings per share of $0.05 in 4Q of 2001.
Yearly net sales, for the year ending Dec. 31, 2002, increased 8 percent to $99.1 million compared to $91.5 million in the same period last year. Including the Molly Strong-Butts/Yeti litigation settlement charges of $3.2 million in 2002 and $2.2 million in 2001, net earnings before cumulative effect of accounting change for the year ended Dec. 31, 2002, were $1,620,000, or $0.17 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $1,626,000, or $0.17 per diluted share, for the same period last year.
Teva sales for the year were $65.1 million compared to $61.2 million last year. Ugg sales for the year increased 24 percent to a record level of $23.8 million from $19.2 million, and Simple sales were $10.2 million compared to $10.9 million for the same period last year.
In the conference call Doug Otto, CEO and chairman of Deckers, singled out Ugg's success. "Ugg recorded its fifth consecutive year of double digit growth in 2002, further establishing its dominance as the world's premier luxury sheepskin brand. Fueled by national expansion and increased exposure in accounts like Nordstrom and Sports Chalet, as well as new penetration in Herrington Catalog, Neiman Marcus and Victoria's Secret, Ugg continues to become a more meaningful contributor to our revenue stream, while providing a strong balance to the seasonality of the Teva spring business."
SNEWS View: Good news for Deckers all around. Sales finally seem to be eking forward after a fairly flat period. Ugg is certainly a bright spot, though, we would humbly suggest to Mr. Otto's press release writers that they encourage him to NOT use the words "new penetration" in the same sentence as Victoria's Secret -- you could almost hear the snickers from the analysts and press listening in on the conference call. Yeah, we know, we're an immature bunch, but still.
Otto reports that the company fully expects to realize sales increases this year that will take company sales over the $100 million mark, hovering somewhere between $101 million and $106 million. Now that the company owns the Teva brand fully, and has put the ridiculous litigation with Yeti behind it, we would see no reason Teva, Uggs and Simple shouldn't be able to ratchet up the sales meter to Otto's hoped-for levels.