Merrell, outdoor footwear boost Wolverine’s 1Q earnings

Wolverine World Wide Inc. (NYSE: WWW) reported strong revenue and profit for its first quarter 2011, led by “impressive” results from its outdoor group, including its Merrell brand.
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Wolverine World Wide Inc. (NYSE: WWW) reported strong revenue and profit for its first quarter 2011, ended March 26, led by “impressive” results from its outdoor group, including its Merrell brand.

The Rockford, Mich.-based footwear company reported quarterly revenue of $330.9 million – up 16.1 percent from the same period in 2010. First-quarter 2011 net income rose to $35.9 million, or $0.72 per diluted share, compared to $27.5 million, or $0.54 per diluted share during the first quarter 2010.

In a statement with the earnings release, Wolverine World Wide Chairman and CEO Blake W. Krueger said the revenue and profit rise was broad-based, but its “outdoor group, especially the Merrell brand, and the heritage group both delivered impressive results during the quarter.”

The footwear company’s outdoor group revenue, which accounted for 42 percent of its business in the first quarter, rose 21.6 percent to about $138 million. In comparison, its lifestyle group, accounting for 18 percent of the business, grew revenue by just 1.1 percent. Wolverine’s heritage group grew revenue by 18.1 percent.

Krueger said the company’s investments in innovation were paying off.

“As just one example, the new Merrell Barefoot Collection, introduced at retail just this past February, has exceeded our expectations and is already one of the most successful product launches in the history of the company,” he said.

Based on the strong results, Wolverine increased its projections for 2011 – raising its fiscal full-year 2011 revenue guidance to an estimate range of $1.380 billion to $1.420 billion, which would represent between 10.5 percent and 13.7 percent growth versus 2010.

The company increased its fiscal full-year 2011 per-diluted-share earnings guidance to a range of $2.40 to $2.50, which would represent between 10.6 percent to 15.2 percent growth from 2010’s adjusted earnings per diluted share.

Wolverine’s stock price was up more than 4 percent to about $39.15 in late trading on April 19, following the earnings report earlier in the day.

--Compiled by David Clucas

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