Lifted by sales gains of more than 20 percent at its namesake and Sorel brands, Columbia Sportswear Co. raced past analysts’ estimates for third-quarter profits and raised guidance for the year.
Reporting after the close of the markets on Thursday, the Portland, Ore.-based outerwear, sportswear and footwear firm posted net income of $65.6 million, or 93 cents a diluted share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, 20.3 percent above the $54.6 million, or 79 cents, in net income reported during the 2013 quarter. Analysts expected earnings of 87 cents per share.
Sales grew faster. Revenues reached $675.3 million, 29.1 percent ahead of the $523.1 million reported a year ago. Excluding a $28.2 million contribution from Prana, the athletic sportswear company acquired in June, sales rose 23.7 percent.
Columbia brand sales were up 28.7 percent, to $555.4 million, and Sorel’s up 22.8 percent, to $58.2 million. Mountain Hardwear revenues fell 23.6 percent, to $31 million. U.S. sales rose 25.8 percent, to $406.3 million, but their share of the total declined to 60.2 percent from 61.8 percent a year ago.
Gross margin tacked on 100 basis points to 45.4 percent of sales.
“We see solid momentum continuing into 2015, assuming seasonal weather prevails in key global markets,” said Tim Boyle, president and chief executive officer. “Our confidence is based on strong early fall 2014 sell-through, coupled with growth in spring 2015 advance wholesale orders and our plans for continued growth in our direct-to-consumer channels.”
In addition to raising its guidance for 2014 based on third-quarter results, the company issued preliminary guidance for fiscal 2015 calling for a double-digit increase in sales over the projected $2.06 billion expected this year. EPS for the year is now expected to reach $1.80 a share, 4 cents above the current Wall Street view.
Per-share amounts have been adjusted to reflect the company’s two-for-one stock split paid Sept. 26 to shareholders of record Sept. 8.
For the nine months, net income expanded 41.6 percent, to $81.6 million or $1.15 a diluted share, as revenue grew 23.6 percent, to $1.42 billion.