Columbia Sportswear Q4 & Full Year 2023 Results, Full Year 2024 Outlook


Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ: COLM), a globally recognized innovator in outdoor, active, and lifestyle products encompassing apparel, footwear, accessories, and equipment, has released its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2023, concluding on December 31, 2023.

Tim Boyle, the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, expressed pride in the accomplishments of the global workforce throughout 2023. The successful execution of the inventory reduction plan resulted in an operating cash flow exceeding $600 million for the year. Notably, the Columbia brand experienced robust growth outside the U.S., particularly in China and Europe’s direct markets. Challenges in the U.S. market, coupled with a warm winter, impacted the fourth quarter performance.

Boyle acknowledged the anticipated challenges in 2024, with cautious retailer orders and persistent economic and geopolitical uncertainties. Despite this, the company is focused on maximizing sales while refining product, brand marketing, and marketplace strategies to stimulate growth in 2025 and beyond. To enhance operational efficiency and counter potential profitability erosion, Columbia Sportswear is implementing a multi-year profit improvement program, targeting annual savings of $125 to $150 million by 2026.

As of the year-end, the company’s balance sheet remained robust, boasting $765 million in cash and short-term investments with no outstanding borrowings. Boyle expressed confidence in the team’s abilities and strategies, emphasizing the commitment to investing in key priorities for sustained growth. These priorities include accelerating profitable growth, creating distinctive and innovative products, boosting brand engagement, improving consumer experiences, refining marketplace excellence, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce aligned with core values.

For a comprehensive review of the fourth quarter 2023 financial results, the CFO Commentary and Financial Review presentation is available on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website and the Investor Relations section .

Key Fourth Quarter 2023 Financial Results (versus fourth quarter 2022):

  • Net sales declined by 9 percent (10 percent in constant currency) to $1,060.0 million.
  • Gross margin expanded by 20 basis points to 50.6 percent of net sales.
  • SG&A expenses were $404.8 million, representing 38.2 percent of net sales.
  • Operating income decreased by 27 percent to $113.1 million.
  • Net income decreased by 26 percent to $93.3 million, or $1.55 per diluted share.

Full Year 2023 Financial Results (versus full year 2022):

  • Net sales increased by 1 percent (1 percent in constant currency) to $3,487.2 million.
  • Gross margin expanded by 20 basis points to 49.6 percent of net sales.
  • SG&A expenses increased by 9 percent to $1,416.3 million, representing 40.6 percent of net sales.
  • Operating income decreased by 21 percent to $310.3 million.
  • Net income decreased by 19 percent to $251.4 million, or $4.09 per diluted share.

As of December 31, 2023, the company’s balance sheet showcased a robust financial position, including $764.5 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments. Inventories decreased by 27 percent to $746.3 million.

Cash flow for the twelve months ended December 31, 2023, demonstrated a positive trend, with net cash provided by operating activities amounting to $636.3 million, compared to net cash used in operating activities of $25.2 million for the same period in 2022. Capital expenditures totaled $54.6 million, while share repurchases amounted to 2,377,962 shares of common stock for an aggregate of $184.0 million.

The Board of Directors approved a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.30 per share, payable on March 22, 2024, to shareholders of record on March 8, 2024. As of December 31, 2023, $345.3 million remained available under the stock repurchase authorization.

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