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Shoemaker Deckers Outdoor's Quarterly Earnings Rise 28%

The maker of Ugg boots and Teva sports sandals posts a $5.4-million profit as demand grows.

April 16, 2004|Arlene Martinez | Times Staff Writer

Whether they wore them with miniskirts or hiking shorts, shoppers snatched up more boots and sandals made by Deckers Outdoor Corp. to help boost the Goleta, Calif.-based company's quarterly profit 28%.

The maker of Ugg, Teva and Simple brand shoes posted a first-quarter profit of $5.4 million, or 49 cents a share. That was an increase from the $4.2 million, or 37 cents, earned in the same period last year.

Sales for the quarter ended March 31 rose 22% to $44.3 million.

Spotted on such Hollywood A-listers as Cameron Diaz and Sarah Jessica Parker, the chunky sheepskin-lined Ugg boots saw sales more than triple to $5.1 million compared with the year-earlier quarter. Sales of Teva sports sandals and other active footwear hit record levels at $37.4 million, an 18% increase from a year earlier.

Nonetheless, sales of Deckers' smaller Simple line of shoes and clogs fell 39% to $1.7 million.

Though fashion experts have declared the Ugg trend on its way out, Deckers Chief Executive Doug Otto predicted during a conference call with analysts Thursday that strong sales of the Ugg line would continue through the year. He noted that department store chain Neiman Marcus, which featured Ugg boots in its spring catalog, sold out immediately. Demand for the brand, he added, was on the rise in Canada, Europe and the United States. Sales growth of Ugg footwear has been in the double digits for six straight years.

Deckers Outdoor also raised its earnings and revenue guidance.

The company now expects full-year earnings per share of $1.42 to $1.51 and 2004 revenue to be $166 million to $174 million.

The healthy quarterly report sent Deckers shares to a 52-week high of $30.20 before settling at $29.08, up 83 cents, on Nasdaq. The stock has risen sixfold in the last year.

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