Timberland shares plummet after earnings report

The Timberland Company shares took a dive Thursday, falling by more than a quarter of their value after the company announced that its quarterly earnings dropped even as revenues grew.Despite more than a 10 percent increase in revenue during its first quarter, the Stratham-based apparel and footwear company said net earnings dropped more than 30 percent, to less than $18 million, or 35 cents a share.The company is spending more on everything from advertising to executive compensation, wiping out the $22 million growth in revenue in the quarter, which ended April 2 But that’s because Timberland expects to grow even more in the future.”We are making intentional strategic investments as we seek to deliver another year of top-line growth,” said Jeffrey B. Swartz, Timberland’s president and CEO. “We are confident we have the right strategy and team in place to be the number one outdoor brand on Earth.”The company said sales rose in just about every geographic area and for every product line. Timberland opened stores (eight over the last year) instead of shutting them, including one last week in the Market Street district of San Francisco and another on Newbury Street in Boston.The good news is the company still has $265.3 million in cash and no debt and accounts receivable increased 13.2 percent to $178.5 million.Still, Wall Street didn’t like the results. The company’s share price plummeted Thursday by $10.92 (or 26.27 percent) to $30.65, the lowest point since mid-February. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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