Movado Group, Inc. Dials Back Expectations


Movado's Museum Sport Motion Smartwatch. Source: Movado.

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Movado Group reported fiscal 2016 fourth-quarter results on March 31. The luxury watchmaker managed to hit its full-year revenue and earnings targets but issued a tepid outlook for the year ahead.

The raw numbers

Source: Movado Group Q4 2016 earnings press release.

What happened with Movado Group this quarter?

  • Net sales increased 7% year over year to$143.3 million, and 10.1% on a constant-currency basis.
  • Gross profit rose 12% to$75.4 million -- with gross margin increasing to 52.6% of sales from 50.3% in the year-ago quarter -- as price increases, supply chain sourcing improvements, and favorable changes in channel and product mix more than offset the negative impact of foreign exchange rate fluctuations.
  • Operating margin also improved, rising to 8.1% from 7.5% in the year-ago period, as operating income jumped 14% to$11.5 million.
  • However, net income fell 22% to$7.9 million, mainly due to a higher provision for income taxes in the fourth quarter compared to Q4 2015. And earnings per share, which were aided somewhat by share buybacks, declined 15% year over year.

What management had to sayChairman and CEO Efraim Grinberg highlighted Movado's successes in the company's earnings press release:

However, Grinberg appears to be bracing for another difficult retail environment in the year ahead:

Capital returnsUnder its previous $100 millionshare buyback program, Movado repurchased approximately 111,000 shares in the fourth quarter and nearly 1,860,000 shares across all of fiscal 2016. That program expired onJan. 31, 2016, and Movado announced that its board of directors has authorized a new $50 million share repurchase program with an expiration date of Sept. 30, 2017.

Additionally, Movado's board approved an 18% increase in the company's quarterly cash dividend to$0.13per share.

Management changesMovado also announced that Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer Rick Cot will retire inJune 2016. Cot will remain on Movado's board of directors, and the company does not plan on replacing the COO role and instead will transition Cot's responsibilities to other managers.

"I want to thank Rick for his significant contributions toMovado Group," said Grinberg. "He has assisted the Company in developing the operating strategy that has led to our consistent growth. He has been a great partner and friend and I am pleased to have Rick continue as a member of our Board."

Looking forwardManagement issued its outlook for fiscal 2017, including sales in the range of $585 million to $600 million, operating income between $65 million and $70 million, and net income of approximately$43.3 million to $46.7 million. In addition, full-year earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $1.85 to $2.00. Those figures are significantly belowthe $750 million in sales, $115 million in operating profit, andmore than $3.00 in EPS that Movado initially targeted in its FY2014 to FY2017 strategic plan.

"Our plans for fiscal 2017 call for a challenged global economy and retail environment, yet we are continuing to invest for the long-term growth of the company," added Grinberg. "We expect the continued implementation of our stated strategy by our talented team to result in sustained long-term profitable growth for our company and increased value for our shareholders."

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