July 20, 2018 / 11:20 AM / 3 months ago

VF Corp raises full-year forecast, propelled by soaring Vans sales

(Reuters) - Vans shoe maker VF Corp (VFC.N) raised its full year revenue and earnings forecast on Friday after soaring demand for its skateboarding-culture inspired sneakers helped the company beat quarterly Wall Street estimates.

FILE PHOTO: Vans shoes are seen in a Vans shop in Rome, Italy, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Max Rossi

The go-to brand for skateboarders, Vans is now appealing to a more fashion-conscious millennial crowd due to its updated styles, tie-ups with hip-hop artists and collaboration with Marvel comics.

Vans has been especially popular with 18- to 24-year-olds with 14 percent of individuals surveyed by Cowen & Co choosing it as their footwear brand of choice trailing only behind Nike (NKE.N).

“Vans remains on fire,” Cowen analyst John Kernan said in a client note.

Sales at the brand rose 35 percent in the quarter.

VF shares rose 4.8 percent to a record-high of $93.50 in early trading

In contrast, Skechers USA Inc (SKX.N) reported a lower-than-expected profit and gave a disappointing quarterly forecast on Thursday, sending its shares tumbling.

Skechers sneakers just dont have the “cool factor” that Vans does, and appeals more to baby boomers, Jane Hali, CEO of investment research firm Jane Hali & Associates said.

VF which also makes North Face apparel and Wrangler jeans raised its fiscal 2019 revenue forecast to between $13.6 billion and $13.7 billion, compared with analysts’ expectations of $13.56 billion.The Greensboro, North Carolina-based company’s total revenue rose 23 percent to $2.79 billion in the quarter ended June 30, beating analysts’ average estimate of $2.68 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

VF’s jeans business, a pain point for the company in recent quarter, also showed modest signs of improvement with a 3 percent rise in sales.

The company raised its full-year earnings forecast range to $3.52 to $3.57 per share from a prior expectation of $3.48 to $3.53.Excluding certain items, VF, earned 43 cents per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of 33 cents. Net income rose to $160.4 million, or 40 cents per share, in the quarter, from $109.9 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr and Shailesh Kuber

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