Levi Beats Quarterly Estimates as People Refresh Their Wardrobes

Levi Strauss & Co. jeans. Shutterstock.

Levi Strauss & Co on Wednesday beat third-quarter revenue and profit estimates, boosted by an uptick in demand for jeans from people refreshing their wardrobes as they returned to normal social life following easing pandemic restrictions.

Shares of the jeans maker rose 2 percent in extended trading after the Dockers brand owner said its board had approved a $200 million share repurchase plan. The company has a market capitalisation of $49.49 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

With schools and offices reopening and people even going on vacations, as cases of coronavirus infections trend down, many are splurging on new apparel.

Levi, which has been expanding at major retailers including Target Corp and Nordstrom Inc, has also benefited from a reopening of the economy in its European markets and investments in its direct-to-consumer business.

Analysts expect Levi to face less supply pressure than peers due to its minimal reliance on Vietnam, an apparel manufacturing hub that has seen several factories close due to COVID-19 outbreaks and lower usage of the congested West Coast port.

“We have taken pricing actions and believe we have pricing power to mitigate inflationary pressures,” Chief Financial Officer Harmit Singh said in a statement.

Net revenue for the company rose to $1.50 billion from $1.06 billion in the third quarter ended Aug. 29. Analysts on average had expected $1.48 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding items, Levi earned 48 cents per share, beating estimates of 38 cents per share.

The company said it expects holiday-quarter net revenue growth of 20 percent to 21 percent from a year earlier, while analysts were expecting growth of 22 percent.

Levi also said it expects fourth-quarter earnings per share to be between 38 cents and 40 cents per share, compared with analysts average expectation of 40 cents per share.

By Reshma Rockie George and Praveen Paramasivam ; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli.

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The 167-year-old jeansmaker cared about running an ethical business before it became a marketing exercise. What happens to that commitment in a pandemic? Click below to download the case study.

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