Wolverine World Wide posts record sales, earnings


    ROCKFORD —Wolverine World Wide today reported record sales and earnings for the third quarter of 2008, the company’s 25th consecutive quarter of record revenue and earnings per share results.

    Revenue totaled $318.9 million in the quarter ended September 6, 2008, a 2.8 percent increase over revenue of $310.2 million in the prior year. Fully diluted earnings per share were 62 cents versus 54 cents in the third quarter of 2007, an increase of 14.8 percent. For the first three quarters of this year, revenue reached $874.5 million, up from $841.5 million reported for the first three quarters of 2007. Year-to-date reported earnings per share were $1.41 per share, up from $1.21 per share for the same period of 2007.

    “We are pleased to report strong results for the third quarter, particularly in light of continuing tough global economic conditions,” said President and CEO Blake W. Krueger. “Our team’s focused execution against our multi-brand, multi-country and multi-category brand-building model enables us to consistently post excellent financial results. The company’s financial performance in the quarter was highlighted by the Merrell brand, which delivered a high single-digit revenue gain and a double-digit increase in earnings contribution.”

    The company repurchased approximately 745,000 shares of stock in the quarter for $19.0 million, and ended the third quarter with a cash balance of $74.3 million. Wolverine’s balance sheet remains one of the strongest in the industry, said Chief Financial Officer Don Grimes.

    Wolverine raised its full-year earnings guidance to a range of $1.87 to $1.92 per fully diluted share on a revised revenue range of $1.22 billion to $1.24 billion. The revised earnings per share range represents growth of 10 percent to 13 percent over 2007 earnings per share of $1.70.

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