Shares of Deckers Outdoor Corp. were down sharply in after-hours trading Feb. 27 as the company predicted a loss for this year’s first quarter of 16 cents per share compared to a 10-cent-per-share profit expected by Wall Street.
Goleta-based Deckers, the parent of the Ugg boot, said profits for last quarter were up 45.8 percent to a record $4.04 per share. It said full-year profits for 2013 were up 21.2 percent to $4.18 per share. Both figures beat Wall Street expectations, where a survey of 18 analysts expected $3.80 per share for the fourth quarter and $3.94 for the full year, according to data compiled by Thomson Financial Network.
Deckers warned investors to expect a loss in the first quarter despite expected revenue growth. The company said that the reason was its aggressive build-out of its own branded retail stores.
“As a reminder, a significant amount of our operating expenses are fixed and spread evenly on an absolute dollar basis throughout each quarter,” the company said in a press release. “This includes the costs associated with the 28 new stores that were not open until the second half of 2013. Therefore, we expect our earnings to decline in the first half of 2014 as compared to the first half of 2013, which are typically our lowest volume sales quarters, and increase over 2013 in the back half of the calendar year.”
Deckers also said that its board of directors had authorized to shift the end of its fiscal year from Dec. 31 to March 31. Because the bulk of the company’s sales come during the holiday season, Deckers is often in the position of forecasting its revenue for the next year before it is finished tallying up sales from its most important quarter.
The company said revenue for 2014 reached a record $1.5 billion. The company reported strong sales growth in its non-flagship brands and its direct-to-consumer sales through its retail stores and e-commerce efforts. But the bulk of sales remain from the Ugg brand, which were $1.3 billion. Teva and Sanuk brought in $116.4 million and $101.7 million, respectively.
Deckers shares were down nearly 14 percent to $72.94 at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time.