SAN FRANCISCO, United States — Levi Strauss & Co. fell in late trading as profit in its second quarter as a public company tumbled from a year earlier.
The denim maker said on its conference call that adjusted diluted earnings slipped 21 percent from the prior year to 17 cents. When including $29 million of expenses associated with its IPO, second-quarter profit was 7 cents a share. “I’m not going to worry about the one-time cost of the IPO,” Chief Executive Chip Bergh said in an interview after the earnings release. “That’s a one-time short-term hit. We’re in it for the long term.”
Levi has been working to bolster its retail network and e-commerce sales, and said its direct-to-consumer business increased 9 percent last quarter, mostly due to those efforts. But that growth comes at a cost, with higher investment spending. Advertising costs were also higher.
While revenue topped projections, it wasn’t enough for investors, who sent the shares down as much as 7.6 percent. Levi has been pushing harder in international markets and sales last quarter increased in Europe and Asia as well as in the Americas.
Levi slightly raised its fiscal 2019 guidance for net revenue growth to the high end of the mid-single digit range. It also said constant-currency adjusted EBIT margins will be in the range of 10 basis points, up from a previous forecast of flat-to-slightly up. Still, mid-single digit growth this year would suggest a slowing ahead after 10 percent constant-currency revenue growth in the first half. The company says that has to do with where Black Friday falls this year.
Levi shares fell as low as $21.87 in late trading. The stock has advanced 39 percent since the IPO through Tuesday’s close.
By Jordyn Holman; editors: Anne Riley Moffat, Lisa Wolfson.