Iconix Brand Group Inc. on Monday reported mixed fourth-quarter results after the markets closed.
The brand management firm posted a net loss of $263 million for the three months ended Dec. 31, or $5.44 a diluted share, against net income of $17.5 million, or 32 cents, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, diluted EPS was 25 cents compared with 45 cents a year ago. Licensing revenue slipped 1.4 percent to $94.6 million from $96 million. Wall Street was expecting 27 cents a share on revenues of $93.3 milion.
For the year, the net loss was $189.3 million, or $3.92 a diluted share, on revenues of $379.2 million.
Peter Cuneo, chairman and interim chief executive officer, said, “Despite a challenging year in 2015, I believe our ability to continue to generate significant free cash flow speaks to the overall resilience of our business model and the ongoing strength of a diversified portfolio of global brands.”
The company said it ended 2015 with free cash flow of $189 million.
Cuneo noted in the call to Wall Street analysts the three areas of concern when he took over in August: refinancing the $300 million convertible notes due in June; ongoing discussions with staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding certain historical accounting, and bringing on a new ceo. He added that the company has completed all three. Iconix has a new $300 million term loan — expected to be funded next week — to address the note maturity; it has reached conclusions with the SEC staff on the comment letter process, and John Haugh joined last month as president and will become ceo on April 1.
Cuneo also emphasized the company’s ability to “generate significant free cash flow, which I believe speaks to the overall resilience of our business model and to the ongoing strength of a diversified portfolio of over 30 consumer brands that are licensed to best-in-class partners around the world.” He noted that strength has been from global businesses such as Peanuts, Umbro and Lee Cooper. While the apparel marketplace has been difficult in the U.S., Cuneo said that can be lessened by deeper relationships with its retail partners and by enhancing the company’s marketing support.
Iconix has renewed six large direct-to-retail relationships in 2015 that includes Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s and Kmart Sears. Cuneo said revitalizing the relationships with big-box apparel retailers in America “is a key focus for us this year.”
Haugh spoke briefly, noting that Iconix has a “talented team of people, a strong portfolio brand and a dominant licensing platform from which I believe we can grow both in the U.S. and internationally.” He added that he understood the need to create a “balance between driving growth and improving the balance sheet,” which will be a focus for him and the management team.
The results posted on Monday reflect the historical restatement that the company said it would do on Feb. 18, which included the “consolidation of certain joint ventures that were previously accounted for as equity method investments, the elimination of the gains associated with those joint venture transactions, the recalculation of the cost basis of trademarks contributed to other joint ventures that continue to be accounted for on the equity method, and certain other non-cash adjustments primarily to historical licensing revenue,” the company said.
Iconix also said it took a non-cash impairment charge of $438 million, primarily related to the men’s business including Rocawear, Ecko and Ed Hardy. The licensing program in men’s has been restructured, and new licensees are in place for two of the firm’s most challenged brands, Rocawear and Ecko. The company is projecting some growth from the men’s business for 2016. Iconix also said it had special charges of $11.1 million for the year and $1.6 million for the quarter in connection to professional fees related to the SEC matter, the special committee review and costs connected to the transition of its management.
The company said it reported no gains on sales of trademarks in 2015, versus $6.4 million in 2014 in connection with the sale of the Sharper Image e-commerce and U.S. catalogue rights.
Iconix updated its 2016 guidance, reflecting higher expenses connected with the new term loan, impact from the sale of the Badgley Mischka brand, adjustments related to the financial restatement, transition costs with the hiring of Hough and current portfolio trends. The company now expects diluted EPS for 2016 to be between 75 cents and 90 cents, on licensing revenue estimated at $370 million to $390 million. It is projecting free cash flow at $155 million to $170 million. The prior guidance pegged diluted EPS at between $1.08 to $1.23, on licensing revenue of between $370 million to $390 million.
Shares of Iconix on Monday closed up 2.4 percent to $8.14 in Nasdaq trading, but fell 4 percent to $7.82 in after-market trading.