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Allbirds Shares Fall as Sneaker Retailer Reports Widening Losses, Despite 23% Jump in Sales

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  • Allbirds shares tumbled in after-hours trading Wednesday as the sneaker retailer revealed mounting costs in the fourth quarter that weighed on profits and overshadowed double-digit revenue growth.
  • Retail store openings and the bulking up of its headcount increased expenses year over year, Allbirds said.
  • Its first-quarter revenue forecast fell short of analysts' expectations, as the retailer anticipates greater growth later in the year. Allbirds' full-year revenue forecast is more upbeat.

Allbirds shares tumbled in after-hours trading Wednesday as the sneaker retailer revealed mounting costs in the fourth quarter that weighed on profits and overshadowed double-digit revenue growth.

Retail store openings and the bulking up of its headcount led to higher expenses year over year, the company said. Other headwinds included logistics costs and temporary labor shortages due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Allbirds said.

Allbirds' forecast for first-quarter revenue also fell short of analysts' expectations, as the retailer anticipates greater growth later in the year. The full-year revenue forecast is more upbeat.

Allbirds' stock has tumbled 60% since its first trade of $21.21 when it debuted on the Nasdaq last November. Shares hit an all-time intraday low of $7.98 on Wednesday. It was off as much as 8% in extended trading.

Here's how Allbirds did in its fourth quarter compared with what Wall Street was anticipating, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Loss per share: 9 cents vs. a loss of 9 cents expected
  • Revenue: $97.2 million vs. $91.8 million expected

Its net loss for the three-month period ended Dec. 31 widened to $10.7 million, or 9 cents a share, from a loss of $9.4 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier. That was in line with estimates from analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Revenue grew 23% to $97.2 million from $79.3 million a year earlier, topping estimates for $91.8 million.

In 2021, Allbirds said its digital business grew 16% from the year-earlier period and accounted for over 80% of total revenue. Its physical retail business, meantime, more than doubled, as the company continued to open new stores. It operates 37 locations globally, to date.

Allbirds said it was able to take advantage of strong consumer demand during the holidays in the U.S., thanks in part to its inventory position entering the quarter.

Co-CEO and co-founder Joey Zwillinger said that over the holidays Allbirds had the two biggest sales days in its history, "highlighting the power of our omni-channel model."

For 2022, Allbirds said it sees revenue ranging between $355 million and $365 million. Analysts were looking for $353 million. Adjusted losses, before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, are forecast in a range of $9 million to $13 million, including an estimated $8 million of public company costs.

First-quarter sales are seen ranging between $60 million and $62 million, short of the $63.7 million in revenue predicted by analysts on average.

During a conference call with analysts Wednesday evening, management noted forthcoming efforts that it hopes will boost sales and earnings. Without naming specific businesses, Allbirds said it plans to branch further into wholesale by selling through third parties. It cited a past partnership with Nordstrom as one example of this.

Co-founder Tim Brown added that Allbirds will also continue to innovate with new footwear and apparel to offer customers a reason to return to its stores and websites.

Last week, Allbirds announced the debut of its own resale platform, Allbirds ReRun, which it anticipates will lead to more repeat business and brand loyalty. Through the program, the retailer will offer credits to people who trade in their used Allbirds shoes.

The company said it will be taking "deliberate pricing actions" in 2022 to fight inflation, which should add 1% to 3% to 2022 revenue growth depending on the timing of its efforts.

Allbirds said it experienced effectively no drop off in consumer demand after it made minor price increases last year, giving it the confidence to do so again in 2022.

Read the full financial press release from Allbirds here.

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