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Skechers Profit Rises 24% Even as Sales Decline

October 24, 2002|Leslie Earnest | Times Staff Writer

Skechers USA Inc. said Wednesday that third-quarter profit rose 24%, despite slower sales, as the shoemaker con- tained costs and operated more efficiently.

Net earnings were $14.1 million, or 35 cents a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $11.4 million, or 30 cents a share, in the same period last year.

Sales for the quarter slumped 9% to $261.1 million, compared with $287.9 million in the comparable period in 2001.

Earnings beat the lowered expectations of a consensus of analysts from Thomson First Call, who anticipated net income of 30 cents a share. Analysts lowered their expectations from 41 cents a share after a warning from Skechers last month.

Skechers shares jumped 14% to close at $10.30, up $1.29, in New York Stock Exchange trading. The shares have lost almost 30% of their value this year.

Citing sluggish consumer spending, labor issues at the West Coast ports and volatile international events, the Manhattan Beach-based company again reduced fourth-quarter earnings expectations, this time to 3 cents to 8 cents a share. Analysts were expecting profit of 11 cents, having scaled back their earlier expectations of 26 cents a share after Skechers' warning last month.

Sales for the quarter should be $195 million to $205 million, compared with the previous estimate of $214 million.

Skechers also said it now expects earnings per share for the full year of between $1.42 and $1.47, compared with $1.24 last year. Analysts were anticipating profit of $1.46 for 2002.

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