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Thursday, Feb 2, 2023

Design Team Gives Shoemaker Leg Up in Sales

Skechers USA Inc. continues to set a blistering pace that’s leaving other shoemakers in the dust.

After markets closed April 22, the Manhattan Beach footwear firm reported the strongest earnings in the company’s history.

Skechers had first-quarter revenue of $768 million, a 41 percent jump from the same period last year. Net income was $56.1 million ($1.10 a share), way up from $31 million (61 cents a share) a year earlier.

That sent shares breaking away from the field, surging 20 percent during the week ended April 29 to close at $90.97, making it the top gainer on the LABJ Stock Index. (See page 62.) The stock is up more than 117 percent over the past 52 weeks, hitting an all-time high on the last day of the week.

Skechers Chief Financial Officer David Weinberg credited the company’s design and marketing team with being the driving forces behind its recent performance.

“Skechers’ achievements over the last couple years – including record annual revenues for 2014 and record quarterly sales achieved in the first quarter of 2015 – are the result of the design innovations in our men’s, women’s and kids’ lines,” he said in a written statement to the Business Journal.

He also said commercials, including those featuring former Beatle Ringo Starr, were driving sales.

On an April 22 conference call discussing the earnings, Weinberg said the company’s quarter could have been even stronger had it not been for significant obstacles that have been factors in other companies’ tepid first-quarter results, such as a strong dollar, an unseasonably cold winter and the slowdown at West Coast ports.

Danielle McCoy, who covers Skechers for Wunderlich Securities Inc. in New York, also mentioned Skechers’ design and marketing as the basis for its strong performance. She reiterated a “buy” rating and $97 price target for the stock in an April 23 report.

“We believe the constant flow of new innovative styles supported by powerful marketing campaigns has been the key to Skechers’ success and we expect this to continue,” she wrote in the report.

Jeff Van Sinderen, who covers Skechers for West L.A. brokerage B. Riley & Co., singled out the company as one of the few shoemakers with positive traction in an April 23 research note. He also raised his price target on the company from $71 to $92 a share.

“Skechers is one of few companies in the apparel/footwear space that is experiencing strong underlying momentum/growth in its business,” he wrote, “and this trend should continue for the foreseeable future.”


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