Timberland reports 3Q earnings decline

Footwear manufacturer The Timberland Company has reported a 25 percent decline in third quarter profits, citing low sales of boots and children’s shoes.

The company also said it expects to see a decline of 30 percent in full-year earnings per share because of a flat U.S. market and anti-dumping duties.

Timberland’s net income fell to $51.9 million for the third quarter, with a diluted earnings per share of 82 cents, compared to a third-quarter 2005 net income of $69.2 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.02.

Operating profit fell 23.1 percent, to $80.8 million, for the third quarter of 2006, compared to the $105.1 million reported for the same period last year.

Timberland expects to see revenue growth in the mid-single digit range for fourth quarter 2006, the company said, citing expectations that flat U.S. growth will offset double-digit gains in its international market.

Full-year earnings per share are expected to fall slightly more than originally anticipated. While company officials predicted a 25 percent decline in earnings, they now believe investors will see a 30 percent decline in last year’s earnings of $2.35 per share, excluding restructuring and other costs.

Timberland said it expects profit pressure to limit earnings during the first half of 2007 but anticipates gains for the second half of the year. — TRACIE STONE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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