Columbia profit up in 4Q despite weak sales

Mild winter weighs on Columbia 4Q sales, profit improves on cost controls

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Columbia Sportswear Co. said Thursday that fourth-quarter net income increased 8 percent on cost controls, as mild winter weather hurt sales of its outdoor clothing.

Columbia, which owns Mountain Hardwear, Sorel and its namesake brand, said weather in North America during the holiday shopping season and consumer caution hurt traffic in stores and drove price cuts in key markets. That led to higher order cancellations and fewer reorders from wholesale customers. And about $9 million of advance orders for spring 2013 were shifted into the first quarter.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $501.1 million. Net income for the period rose to $39.5 million, or $1.15 per share, from $36.7 million, or $1.08 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet forecast $1.14 per share on revenue of $500.9 million.

Columbia expects revenue for the first quarter and full fiscal year of 2013 to be comparable with 2012 numbers, which were $333.1 million and $1.67 billion, respectively. The outlook was short of market expectations. Analysts estimated revenue of $342.6 million for the first quarter and $1.73 billion for the full year.

Shares of Portland, Ore.-based Columbia rose 86 cents to close at $49.54. They fell $1.29, or 2.6 percent, to $48.25 in after-hours trading.

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