Columbia Sportswear Co. narrowly exceeded first-quarter earnings expectations as it raised its earnings guidance and held to its revenue forecast for the full year.
In the three months ended March 31, the Portland, Ore.-based marketer of outerwear and sportswear registered net income of $26.5 million, or 37 cents a diluted share, 18.9 percent higher than the $22.3 million, or 32 cents, recorded in the first quarter of 2014. The earnings per shares was 1 cent higher than the 36 cents expected, on average, by analysts.
Revenues beat estimates by a wider margin, rising 12.9 percent to $479 million from $424.1 million and advancing about 17 percent at constant currency. Wall Street was looking for a top-line result of just under $470 million.
Eliminating the $37.1 million sales contribution of Prana, acquired May 30, sales totaled $441.9 million, 4.2 percent above the tally in the 2014 quarter.
Gross margin rose to 47.8 percent from 46.5 percent a year ago.
“We are experiencing exceptional sell-through in North America through the first half of the spring season and our European business has returned to growth,” said Tim Boyle, chief executive officer. “Sorel is posed for a very strong second half and full-year net sales of more than $200 million, while Prana remains on pace to deliver annualized growth of more than 20 percent.”
By brand, Columbia’s sales were up 6.7 percent to $401 million, while Sorel rose 3.9 percent to $13.4 million. Mountain Hardwear’s revenues were off 22.5 percent to $25.1 million.
U.S. sales were up 17.7 percent to $283.8 million and the Europe-Middle East-Africa region’s sales added 21.9 percent to hit $47.8 million. Canada revenues grew fastest, 27.5 percent to $34.3 million, while Latin America-Asia-Pacific’s dipped 3.2 percent to $113.1 million.
Columbia raised its full-year outlook for earnings to a range of $2.15 to $2.25, above the $2.10 to $2.20 projected when it reported fourth-quarter results for 2014 in February. It reiterated its expectation for revenues to increase in the high-single digits and, on a currency neutral basis, at a low-teen rate.