Rating Upgrade Doesn’t Help Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE:WWW) Reverse Slide


Dallas, Texas 05/013/2014 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) – Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE:WWW) is sliding down a slippery slope towards the wrong end of the $25 price level, despite a rating upgrade by The Street analysts, who moved WWW from “hold to “buy.” Before the first quarter report was released, WWW was hovering around the $27 range, but seems to have lost ground in the week since then.

 Wolverine World Wide First Quarter Earnings Report

 Wolverine World Wide reported revenue for the first quarter 2014 declined 2.8% year-on-year to $627.6 million. Adjusted fully diluted earnings per share for the first quarter were pegged at $0.38, three cents lower than the $0.41 EPS reported for the first quarter last year.

 These results beat the analyst consensus estimate of $0.30 EPS and $625.42 million in revenue, but the drop as compared to the previous year still caused heartburn for investors. The company explained that first quarter revenue was down because of continued soft traffic at their U.S. retail operations, and extreme weather conditions in the U.S. and the U.K…

 They also cited the impact of Easter business being shifted to the second quarter, and strategic realignment of U.S. distribution in their Sperry Top-Sider’s business.

 Zero Sum Ratings Change for Wolverine World Wide

After these quarterly results, one might expect analysts to accept the results as an off-quarter and maintain a hold rating for the time being, or at least make no changes until they see what happens going forward. WWW does have more holds than buy and sell ratings among all the analysts who cover the stock. However, The Street decided to hike their rating from hold to buy, while Citigroup analysts remain pessimistic and reiterated their sell rating at a price target of $26, which is where the stock is at now.

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