Wolverine Worldwide: good performance in the last quarter, not well in 2018, top margins ever. Not enough at Wall Street though

Wolverine Worldwide achieved a “very good” performance in the fourth quarter thanks to a boost enjoyed by its major brands, namely Merrell and Sperry. Yet, that is not enough to financial analysts. At fixed currency revenues increased by 4,6%, therefore reaching 579,6 million dollars: Wall Street estimates were 581,91 million dollars. Moreover, profits also went below expectations: as a result, such outcome considerably hit the company’s stocks, which have been also affected by 2019 forecast, whose estimates are below than expected. The group is not facing happy days as a matter of fact: such trend is being confirmed by figures about 2018 financial statements. At the end of 2018, the revenues of Wolverine Worldwide amounted to 2,239 billion dollars, that is, -4,7% compared to 2017. In contrast, gross margin reached 41,1%: in 2017 it was 38,9%. “We achieved an excellent accomplishment in 2018: profits went beyond expectations, while earnings basically increased in line with our predictions. Our adjusted operating margin reached 12%, therefore exceeding the goal we had initially set”, remarked Mike Stornant, senior vice-president and chief financial officer of the group. He carried on by saying: “As for 2019, we are going to stick to our strategy, based on investments in organic growth and strategic business acquisitions; furthermore, we’ll keep focusing on capital assets to enhance the stock price in favour of our shareholders, including the buy-back of 400 million dollars ordinary shares and the increase, by 25%, in quarterly shares of profits”. Looking ahead at 2019, the group’s expected earnings amount to 2,28 – 2,33 billion dollars, therefore increasing by 3%; gross margin will slightly go up as well.

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