DSW Delivers Strong Earnings, Sales

NEW YORK — After an impressive first quarter, DSW Inc. expects the rest of the year to be just as bright.

The Columbus, Ohio-based retailer said first-quarter profits more than quadrupled, and that it is benefiting from more on-trend product, expansion in men’s and the popularity of toning products, which now account for more than 15 percent of athletic sales.

“DSW is operating on a higher level than it has been in some time,” said Christopher Svezia, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group. “You have some key product trends — whether it’s boots, casual or men’s — that will continue to drive the business in the back half.”

DSW President and CEO Michael MacDonald said on a conference call last Tuesday that the firm saw strong sales performance across all segments, including boots.

“Fortunately, we were able to not only sustain our sales trend, we actually saw an acceleration in that trend,” he said. “We achieved double-digit comp-sales increases in each of the major footwear categories of women’s, men’s and athletic, and in accessories as well.”

Moving forward, MacDonald said, the company will put a focus on in-store inventory and replenishment, in addition to bolstering its Web presence.

“In the second quarter, we’ll implement changes to our dot-com site that will make our customers’ online shopping experience simpler and more efficient,” he said. “We expect to be making both operational and assortment enhancements on an ongoing basis, so that we’re continuously reading and adjusting to our customers’ preferences.”

The retail company said last week that for the first quarter ended May 1, net income jumped to $30.2 million, or 67 cents a diluted share, from $7.1 million, or 16 cents, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue expanded 17 percent to $449.5 million from $385.8 million in 2009, as comparable-store sales increased 16.2 percent, the same amount they retreated in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts were expecting earnings per share of 49 cents on sales of $441.2 million, according to Yahoo Finance.

The company reiterated its fiscal 2010 outlook of an annual comps increase of between 6 percent and 8 percent. Profits for the year are anticipated to be in the range of $1.65 to $1.75. Analysts are looking for yearly EPS of $1.69.

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