Genesco Bounces Back in Q1

NEW YORK — Genesco Inc. is on the upswing.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based company returned to the black in the quarter ended May 1, posting profits of $8.6 million, or 36 cents a diluted share. A year ago, it saw a first-quarter loss of $5.8 million, or 31 cents a share. The firm’s adjusted earnings per share totaled 42 cents in the most recent period.

“They had a very good quarter, and I think the back half has a lot of positive possibilities,” said Sam Poser, an analyst at Sterne Agee.

The resurgence of brown shoe styles is giving the company confidence heading into the fall season. “While we are not yet ready to say there is a clear and dramatic consumer move from white to brown footwear, we are definitely seeing a drift in that direction,” Chairman, President and CEO Robert Dennis said on a Thursday conference call.

During the company’s first quarter, sales increased 8 percent to $400.9 million from $370.4 million in the comparable 2009 period.

Genesco sailed past Wall Street estimates for both its top and bottom lines. Analysts polled by Yahoo Finance had expected adjusted EPS of 22 cents on revenues of $388.5 million.

Overall comparable-store sales grew 5 percent in the quarter, led by a 10 percent gain at both its Lids Sports Group and Johnston & Murphy Retail divisions. The Journeys Group’s comps rose 2 percent, while Underground Station’s same-store sales were flat.

Dennis said that as of May 22, comps for the current quarter were up 3 percent. Given the better-than-expected results in the first quarter, Genesco revised its full-year earnings guidance range to between $2.10 and $2.20 a share. It had previously forecast EPS of $2.00 to $2.10 for the year.

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