Oct 22, 2009
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Skechers third quarter results top market view, shares rise

Oct 22, 2009

By Vidya Lakshmi

BANGALORE, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Footwear maker Skechers USA Inc (SKX.N) posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by higher sales at its international and retail segments, lesser store close-outs and reduced inventory.

The company said retail comparable store sales have accelerated since the third quarter and it was poised for a profitable growth.

"Healthy domestic backlog and positive retail comps gives us confidence that we are well positioned for profitable growth," Chief Operating Officer David Weinberg said on a conference call with analysts.

"Good quarter, good beat," Susquehanna Financial Group analyst Christopher Svezia said, adding that comparable store sales accelerating in the fourth quarter was a positive indicator.

The international segment would be a growing business for the company in the longer term, Svezia said.

"The US business was challenged but margins were significantly higher, and given the amount of advertising we saw on their key items, we felt they controlled their expenses as well," Sterne Agee and Leach analyst Samuel Poser said by phone.

Several footwear makers have been struggling with higher inventory levels as retailers facing a slump in sales have cut back on advance orders.

For the third quarter ended September 10, the Manhattan Beach, California-based company earned $24.5 million, or 52 cents a share, compared with $28.3 million, or 60 cents a share, a year ago.

Sales rose to $405.4 million from $403.2 million.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 35 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $384.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

"Our margins improved meaningfully in the third quarter due to less close outs and clean, in-line inventory," Chief Operating Officer David Weinberg said in a statement.

Shares of the company, whose rivals include Deckers Outdoor (DECK.O) and Timberland (TBL.N), rose 5 percent in trading after the bell. They closed at $21.62 Wednesday 21 October on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Vidya Lakshmi; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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