Iconix Profits Strong, Sees Flat 2009

James Mammarella, February 24, 2009

New York – Brand licensing and marketing firm Iconix Brand Group posted a sound if slowing fourth quarter, while full year profits and sales saw robust growth overall, and the company re-affirmed its guidance for 2009.

Iconix recorded fourth quarter net income of $17.1 million, or 28 cents per diluted share, down about 11%. There was a one time litigation gain of about $7 million in 2007, which if not included in the year-to-year Q4 comparison would have resulted in this year’s Q4 profit showing a 4% gain.

Full year profit was up 10% to $70.2 million, or $1.15 EPS.

Revenue growth in Q4 slowed to 14.3%, but for the full year rose a blistering 35.5% to $216.8 million, from $160.0 million in 2007.

Iconix was “pleased with our strong 2008 performance,” said Neil Cole, chairman and ceo, while keeping 2009 projections flat, barring the affect of any potential acquisitions.

The key moves in the home sector in 2008 – the first full year in the home furnishings business for Iconix – were the placing of Cannon with Sears Holdings and the acquisition of the Waverly brand. Other highlights in the segment included the introduction of Royal Velvet at Bed Bath & Beyond and a “re-positioning of Fieldcrest” at Target. Cole said Iconix will launch a new advertising campaign within several months for Waverly, and without giving details said home goods will debut under the apparel-driven brand Mossimo at Target and under OP at Wal-Mart.

Iconix re-affirmed its full year 2009 EPS guidance $1.20-$1.30 (or $1.06-$1.16 including non-cash interest related to its new accounting policy for convertible debt). The company projects 2009 revenue of $210-$220 million, essentially flat. “This guidance relates to the existing portfolio of brands only and assumes no acquisitions,” Iconix stated.

The flat year-to-year guidance reflects the conservative point of view that Iconix is maintaining on 2009; the company has cut some expense lines such as marketing, administration, interest, salary and stock incentives, Cole said. SG&A expenses jumped up by 390 basis points to 33.6% of sales in Q4, and by 640 basis points to 34.0% of sales for the full year. However, as a licensing company Iconix has little or no “cost of goods sold,” so nearly all the rest of sales are converted to profit.


Qtr. 12/31(millions) 2008 2007 %change

a. Q4 2007 included a one time benefit of $7.1 million from unzipped litigation. Excluding that benefit from the comparison, year-to-year gain in net income would be 4%.

b. Not meaningful. Iconix derives most revenue from licensing royalties.
Sales $54.2 $47.4 14.3%
Oper. Income (EBIT) 35.8 40.4 (11.4)
Net income 17.1 19.2 a (11.4)
Per share (diluted) 0.28 0.31 (9.7)
Average gross profit b b
SG&A expenses 33.6% 29.7%
Fiscal Year
Sales $216.8 $160.0 35.5%
Oper. Income (EBIT) 142.0 121.8 16.6
Net income 70.2 63.8 10.0
Per share (diluted) 1.15 1.04 8.6
Average gross profit b b
SG&A expenses 34.0% 27.6%

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