By Eric Smith
Shares of G-III Apparel Group Ltd. were down $5.84, or 14.3 percent, at market close Thursday amid a handful of other apparel manufacturers losing value after a mixed third quarter.
But G-III was, in fact, one of the better performing apparel companies in the period. The company reported earnings for the third quarter ended October 31—its largest quarter of the year—rose 15.6 percent on a 4.7 percent revenue gain.
The company reported net income for the third quarter of $94 million, or $1.86 per diluted share, from $81.6 million, or $1.65 per diluted share, in the prior-year period. Non-GAAP net income per diluted share was $1.88 for the third quarter of this year compared to $1.67 per share in the same period last year. Results topped Wall Street’s consensus estimate of $1.82.
Meanwhile, the company’s net sales grew 4.7 percent to $1.07 billion from $1.02 billion in the year-ago period, falling short of Wall Street’s target by $10 million.
Read more: G-III Apparel Lifts Outlook On Improved Q3
Morris Goldfarb, G-III’s chairman and CEO, credited strength from the company’s wholesale channel as a major driver for the solid quarter.
Net sales for G-III’s wholesale operations segment increased 4 percent to $1.01 billion from $967 million, sparked by growth at DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger. Wholesale sales growth, however, particularly for the company’s Calvin Klein brand, was impacted unfavorably by the bankruptcy of Bon-Ton stores with the largest impact occurring in the third quarter.
“We work hard to develop well-designed, differentiated and brand relevant products for a competitive and broad range of distribution channels at appropriate price points,” he said on Thursday’s earnings conference call with analysts. “This is truly at the heart of G-III’s success and what makes us a supplier of choice to our retail partners. Our results for the third quarter were once again fueled by strength across our wholesale business, which met our top-line forecasts and exceeded our bottom line expectations.”
The company said that upbeat wholesale showing has carried over into the current quarter, now a little more than a month old.
“Our wholesale business is off to a great start in the fourth quarter and we feel good about how we are positioned to finish the year,” Goldfarb said.
Based on the strong performance in the quarter, G-III company raised its guidance for the full fiscal year ending January 31, 2019.
The company now expects net sales of approximately $3.08 billion and net income between $132 million and $137 million, or between $2.59 and $2.69 per diluted share. The company previously forecasted net sales of approximately $3.06 billion and net income between $125 million and $130 million, or between $2.45 and $2.55 per diluted share, for fiscal 2019. This compares to net sales of $2.81 billion and net income of $62.1 million, or $1.25 per diluted share, for fiscal 2018.
The company is anticipating non-GAAP net income for fiscal 2019 between $136 million and $141 million, or between $2.67 and $2.77 per diluted share, compared to our previous guidance of non-GAAP net income for fiscal 2019 between $129 million and $134 million, or between $2.52 and $2.62 per diluted share.
The company is projecting full-year adjusted EBITDA for fiscal 2019 between $262 million and $269 million compared to its previous forecast of adjusted EBITDA between $250 million and $260 million. This compares to full-year adjusted EBITDA of $201.3 million in fiscal 2018.
Despite the raise, analysts expressed some concerns about the company. Jim Duffy wrote in his note to investors: “In the context of cooperative early season weather, GIII’s revenue and gross margin miss was a surprise and suggestive of sluggish underlying trends. Into 2019, we believe the business lacks drivers sufficient to sustain +HSD growth leaving earnings power more exposed to disruption from external factors. With upwards of 50% of product sourced from China, tariffs are one such potential factor. We remain comfortable with below consensus FY20 EPS estimates and are taking a more conservative view on multiple given tariff risk and evidence of slowing momentum.”
G-III designs, sources and markets apparel and accessories under owned, licensed and private label brands. G-III’s owned brands include DKNY, Donna Karan, Vilebrequin, G. H. Bass, Andrew Marc, Marc New York, Eliza J and Jessica Howard. G-III has fashion licenses under the Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Karl Lagerfeld Paris, Kenneth Cole, Cole Haan, Guess?, Vince Camuto, Levi’s and Dockers brands. Through our team sports business, G-III has licenses with the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, and over 150 U.S. colleges and universities. G-III also operates retail stores under the DKNY, Wilsons Leather, G. H. Bass, Vilebrequin, Karl Lagerfeld Paris and Calvin Klein Performance names.
Photo courtesy G-III Apparel