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: Yeti to stop selling at Lowe’s, part of a wholesale pullback to focus on corporate giving, digital and stores

Yeti Holdings Inc. says it will stop selling items at Lowe’s Cos. Inc., part of its effort to focus on other sales channels that promise greater business opportunities.

The makers of popular coolers and drinkware, Yeti
YETI,
-4.73%

says its products are popular for corporate gift-giving and holiday occasions. Its retail stores are “a powerful and profitable force” for the brand. And the company is turning to the next stage of its digital evolution with a focus on its mobile channel, with nearly three-quarters of traffic coming from mobile devices.

“[W]e reduced our independent wholesale footprint to approximately 3,000 target accounts, which we believe helps focus our efforts on very high caliber retail and drive consistent, high-quality experiences for our customers,” said Matthew Reintjes, chief executive of Yeti, on last week’s earnings call.

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The company is “winding down” its partnership with Lowe’s and doesn’t expect a material impact as the inventory is moved into other thriving channels.

“[A]s we have evaluated our growth areas, our focus and optimization mandate and the current supply constraints, we ultimately believe we can be more productive, better serving our Yeti customers across our strong existing wholesale partnerships, our own direct channels and our growing international opportunities,” said Reintjes.

Yeti reported fourth-quarter revenue and profit that topped expectations, but the outlook fell short of expectations. Shares have tumbled 18.6% over the past year while the benchmark S&P 500 index
SPX,
-1.17%

has gained 11.2%.

“Management continued its planned withdrawal from certain wholesale partners, notably calling out Lowe’s as a recent name on the chopping block,” wrote Cowen analysts, noting that the number of wholesale channels with Yeti items is down one-third year-over-year.

“On a product basis, coolers are expected to lead growth ahead of drinkware with inventory constraints expected to lessen in the second half, particularly for hard and soft coolers.”

Cowen rates Yeti stock outperform with an $89 price target.

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“Like others, cost pressures will intensify, particularly in the front half,” wrote Credit Suisse, highlighting higher freight and other costs.

“This will be partly offset by price increases in select SKUs, and SG&A leverage. Importantly, we think pricing will stick, and Yeti’s underlying cost structure is intact outside of inflationary pressures.”

Credit Suisse rates Yeti stock outperform with a $100 price target.

Raymond James also rates Yeti outperform, calling out its “high quality growth story within the consumer space, and one that warrants a premium valuation” as well as its “rock solid balance sheet.”

Raymond James has an $86 price target for Yeti.

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