North Face, Vans at Record High, But VF Corp Falls on Hype

Tickers in this article: VFC

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Though its top brands boasted record revenues, VF Corp  shares were tumbling on Friday, victim to fourth-quarter results which couldn't live up to the hype.

By midday, shares of VF Corp. were off 5.8% to $56.44.

The owner of apparel brands North Face, Vans, Lee and Wrangler, reported quarterly sales of $3.3 billion, 8% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2012. Increased sales were driven by double-digit growth in its outdoor & action sports, sportswear, international and direct-to-consumer businesses. That didn't stop from sending shares lower, as revenue missed expectations by around $50 million, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Net income of 82 cents a share was short consensus by 2 cents.

Sales of leaderboard brand The North Face rose 12% over the year ago quarter, driven by 30% growth in direct-to-consumer channels and mid-single-digit gains in wholesale. Over 2013, the brand grew 7% to become VF's first brand to surpass $2 billion in global annual sales.

The company's second-largest brand, Vans, jumped 14% over the three months to December with double-digit growth across all regions. In the full year, sales jumped 17%, marking the first time it has exceeded $1.7 billion in annual global revenue.

"The combined power of our brands and platforms remains our greatest competitive advantage enabling us to push the envelope on product innovation to connect even more intensely with consumers and providing stellar returns to our shareholders," said CEO Eric Wiseman in a statement.

Guidance for fiscal 2014 was also softer than anticipated. Management forecasts a revenue increase of 7% to 8%. Full-year revenue analyst estimates of $12.46 billion assumed a 9% jump in sales.

Per-share earnings between $3 and $3.05 were under expectations for $3.09 a share.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates VF CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate VF CORP (VFC) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."