Mar 8, 2009
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K-Swiss posts Q4 loss, sees weak '09; shares tank

Mar 8, 2009

* Q4 loss/shr $0.39 vs est $0.22

* Total revenue down 28 pct

* Suspends common stock dividend

* Says to focus on annual outlook

* Shares down 23 pct (Adds conference call details, share movement)

March 5 (Reuters) - Athletic-shoes maker K-Swiss Inc (KSWS.O) swung to a fourth-quarter loss, which was wider than analysts' average estimate, and forecast weak 2009 results as it was hurt by a 36 percent drop in advance orders, sending its shares to their lowest in more than seven years.

K-Swiss 2009

"No matter what we do, 2009 will not be a good year and the only question is how tough will it be on our bottomline," President Steve Nichols said on a conference call with analysts.

The company, which sells athletic, training, and children's shoes, apparel and accessories, suspended its common stock dividend, which is expected to save about $7.0 million annually.

K-Swiss said it would now provide only annual outlook due to the volatility associated with quarterly projections.

The company said it is also looking at measures, including job cuts, to minimize its loss in 2009.

"We are trying some innovative things to save expenses and we'll literally leave no stone unturned," Nichols said during the call.

For the fourth quarter, K-Swiss posted a loss of $13.7 million, compared with a profit of $596,000 a year earlier.

Revenue fell 28 percent to $56.3 million, dragged by a 20 percent drop in domestic revenue and a 34 percent decline in international revenue.

"The fourth quarter results and our outlook for 2009 reflect the brutal realities and uncertainties of today's global retail environment," Nichols said in a statement.

For 2009, the company expects to post a full-year loss per share of about 30 cents to 60 cents and revenue of $210 million to $250 million.

Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 36 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $288.5 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Worldwide future orders with start ship dates from January through June 2009 were $93.6 million at Dec. 31, 2008, compared with $147.8 million a year ago.

Shares of the Westlake Village, California-based company fell $1.91 to $7.32 Thursday afternoon, making them one of the top percentage losers on Nasdaq. They had touched a low of $7.15 earlier in the day.

As many as 312,160 shares changed hands in intraday trading, about 2.3 times the 50-day moving average volume of the stock. For related alerts, double click (Reporting by Renju Jose in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Deepak Kannan)

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