Earnings Preview: Foot Locker, Shoe Carnival, Hibbett

Analysts are upbeat on three retailers reporting their third-quarter results later this week. Back-to-school likely drove sales, they said, with boots and running shoes pushing a large part of the growth across the board.

Foot Locker Inc.
Foot Locker Inc.’s shares have soared more than 30 percent since it reported its second-quarter results, and analysts predicted the firm’s third-quarter momentum will continue into the fourth quarter.

“We believe growth accelerated for back-to-school and continued through October on strength in running, basketball and toning and improving apparel sales,” Susquehanna Financial analyst Christopher Svezia wrote in a research note. “Typically, a strong b-t-s leads to a favorable holiday quarter.”

Susquehanna Financial also said third-quarter comps will be at the higher end of the low to mid-single digits and that international comp-store growth at the New York-based firm likely outpaced overall comp growth.

Analysts are looking for earnings per share of 17 cents on revenue of $1.22 billion, as polled by Yahoo Finance.

Shoe Carnival Inc.  
A larger assortment of boots, running, basketball, outdoor and toning product should provide broad-based growth in Shoe Carnival Inc.’s third-quarter results.

Analysts from Sterne Agee wrote, “Coupled with improving systems and more seasonable weather … the third quarter should benefit from a later back-to-school selling season and some shifting of tax-free holidays.”

August comps were up in the double-digit range for non-athletic footwear, and in the mid-single-digit range in the athletic category.

“We believe the company should be able to sustain momentum post-b-t-s, with boot sales likely exceeding management’s plans for a mid-single-digit comp. Toning will still be a meaningful contributor despite a sequential slowdown in unit volume and promotions in the second half of the quarter,” according to a research note from Susquehanna Financial.

Shoe Carnival’s shares have climbed more than 30 percent in the last three months, and analysts are looking for EPS of 65 cents on revenue of $199.6 million, as polled by Yahoo Finance.

Hibbett Sports Inc.  
Analysts expect strong comp results to emerge from the Birmingham, Ala.-based retailer, driven by back-to-school sales that continued into October.

“Despite a warm October, The North Face brand is a new exciting introduction in the small markets where Hibbett operates. Commentary from many retailers when they reported third-quarter earnings, or in their October same-store sales report, commented that sales in the South had held up well, and that plays into Hibbett’s wheelhouse,” Sterne Agee analysts wrote in a research note.

Susquehanna Financial said it believes growth was driven by gains in running footwear and technical apparel and a basketball resurgence, and that continued momentum in athletic footwear and performance apparel will also translate to positive comps in the fourth quarter.

The consensus of 20 analysts, as polled by Yahoo Finance, is that the firm will earn an average of 38 cents a share on revenue of $161.4 million.

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