Los Angeles Business Journal

Higher Margins Help Skechers Beat Expectations

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shares of Skechers USA Inc. jumped 14 percent on Thursday, a day after the casual shoemaker said it lost less money than expected in the first quarter and expects to return to profitability in the second half of this year.

After the markets closed on Wednesday, the Manhattan Beach company reported a net loss of $3.7 million (-7 cents a share), compared with net income of $11.8 million (24 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Net sales fell 26 percent to $351 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average had expected a loss of 27 cents a share on revenue of $336 million.

Skechers said it has benefited from clearing out its inventory of toning shoes. Discounting slower selling versions of the once trendy shoes has hurt the company’s performance over the past several quarters. But gross margins the in first quarter rose to 44.3 percent from 40.4 percent a year earlier.

“Our first quarter sales are in line with our expectations given the continued challenging global economic retail environment and changes in retail trends,” said Chief Operating Officer David Weinberg in a statement.

Shares were up $2.07, or 14 percent, to $16.99 in Thursday midday trading on the Nasdaq.