Shares in shoemaker Skechers USA Inc. surged Wednesday when the company provided a strong outlook, even though it reported declines in fourth-quarter net income and sales.


Net income fell 17 percent to $12.1 million (26 cents per share), from $14.6 million (33 cents) for the same period a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial predicted profit of 29 cents per share.


Sales for the Manhattan Beach-based company also fell nearly 1 percent to $302 million, also falling short of Wall Street's expectations of $311 million.


Skechers added in a statement that international business during the quarter grew "significantly," but U.S. sales declined as the company closed some underperforming brands due to a "slow" retail environment.


For the year, net income rose 7 percent to $75.7 million ($1.63 per share), while sales rose 16 percent to $1.39 billion.


However, shares got a boost when the company said it predicted first-quarter net income of between 57 cents and 62 cents per share which was in line with a Thomson Financial poll that found Wall Street was looking for 58 cents per share.


Skechers added that it predicts revenue between $385 million to $395 million, while analysts expected revenue of $383 million.


Shares in Skechers closed up 5.3 percent to $21.28 Wednesday and continued to gain another 3.4 percent to $22 in after-market trading.

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