Levi Gains as Denim-Maker Lifts Guidance Again, Reveals Buyback Plan

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Levi Gains as Denim-Maker Lifts Guidance Again, Reveals Buyback Plan

By Dhirendra Tripathi

Investing.com – Levi Strauss stock (NYSE: LEVI ) jumped nearly 5% in Thursday’s premarket trading as the company raised its annual guidance for the second time and disclosed a $200-million share repurchase program.

Third-quarter numbers were not just ahead of the previous year period’s but also 2019’s.

Levi President and Chief Executive Chip Bergh said its acquisition of Beyond Yoga is helping establish it in the fast growing, high-margin premium activewear market as the company tries to capture “global casualization trends”. The pandemic has driven this shift towards casual, sports and leisurewear as people try to balance both work and personal life in attire they think allows them to straddle all purposes.

Approximately 10% of company-operated stores were closed globally during the quarter, primarily in Asia, where traffic remained at very low levels as Delta-variant Covid-19 spread and governments imposed limits on the movement of people. 

But as stores opened, more consumers logged out online and stepped out to shop. This reflected in contribution of digital sales slipping to 20% of revenue from 23% in second quarter. Only 4% of Levi's company-operated stores worldwide were still shut at the end of the quarter. 

Overall, global wholesale revenue rose and so did digital sales. Revenue from the Americas, comprising more than half of the total, rose 52%. Europe revenue was up 27% and Asia 34%.  

The company now expects full-year adjusted diluted profit per share at $1.44 at center of the guidance range, compared to $1.31 back in July.

Net revenue in the third quarter was up 41% at $1.5 billion and profit rose more than seven-fold to $193.3 million. Both came in ahead of estimates.



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