Levi’s Shares Rise as Strong Demand Prompts Forecast Boost

Levi Strauss & Co. rose after the denim maker said it expects strong sales growth in the first half of the year, signaling that pent-up demand could spur a post-pandemic retail recovery.

The company sees net revenue jumping 24% to 25% in the first half of fiscal 2021 compared with the same period a year ago, it said Thursday in a statement. That’s up from a previous projection of 18% to 20%. Adjusted earnings will be 41 cents to 42 cents a share for the first two quarters this year, topping the average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg.

Levi is the latest retailer showing signs that it sees consumers spending more later in the year as vaccine distribution continues and pandemic lockdowns end. Macy’s Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. have said they expect similar patterns.

“Our outlook going forward has improved based on the strong demand signals we are seeing in the marketplace,” Harmit Singh, Levi’s chief financial officer, said in the statement as the company reported first-quarter earnings.

Net sales in the quarter ending Feb. 28 fell 13%, Levi said. Its digital business was a bright spot, however, growing about 41% compared to the same period the prior year. That revenue accounted for about a quarter of the company’s net sales for the quarter.

The shares climbed 3.2% as of 4:43 p.m. in postmarket trading in New York.

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