Steve Madden reduced its 2014 earnings estimates on Friday when it announced preliminary fourth quarter and full-year sales results. The company already lowered its guidance for the year in October to $1.81 to $1.86 a share. The company now expects earnings of $1.75 to $1.76 a share.
A slow holiday sales season, coupled with West Coast port congestion problems, production delays in Mexico and the added expense of Dolce Vita, which Steve Madden acquired in August 2014, combined for a weak fourth quarter 2014.
For the fourth quarter, net sales were $342.6 million, approximately flat to the same period of 2013. Net sales for the wholesale division decreased 0.9% to $270.9 million. Retail net sales grew 3.2% to $71.7 million, while retail comparable store sales for the fourth quarter of 2014 declined 2.3%.
For fiscal year 2014, net sales increased 1.6% to $1.3 billion, compared to fiscal year 2013. The company’s wholesale segment recorded 2.2% net sales growth to $1.1 billion. Retail net sales dipped 1.7% to $206.0 million.
Chairman and CEO Edward Rosenfeld called the fourth quarter a “challenging period.” He said, “While 2014 was a difficult year at Steve Madden, we took a number of important steps to position the Company for the future. We implemented a new e-commerce platform, acquired two powerful footwear brands in Dolce Vita and Brian Atwood, and moved to an ownership model in two important international markets with the acquisition of our Mexican licensee and the formation of a joint venture in South Africa. We are confident that these initiatives will drive significant long-term earnings growth.”