Footwear Stocks Get Boost From ICR Conference

Several footwear firms saw an uptick in share prices Wednesday after making bullish statements at the 13th Annual ICR XChange Investor Conference in Dana Point, Calif.

Shares of Brown Shoe Inc., Genesco Inc. and Steve Madden Ltd. each spiked more than 5 percent at some point on Wednesday, from Tuesday’s closing price.

Brown Shoe peaked at $14.87 — also its year-to-date high — around 1 p.m., after newly-appointed CEO Diane Sullivan told investors at the conference that the firm remained confident it will “generate low to mid single-digit sales growth in 2011 and [earn] $1.31 to $1.43 [per share].”

She also said the firm’s retail sales per square foot for the last four quarters increased to $184 from about $164 in the prior four quarters.

Meanwhile, Steve Madden CEO Ed Rosenfeld said the firm plans to double EPS in five years, and that sales of brands it acquired within the last two years alone are expected to triple to $150 million over the next three years. This sent the company’s shares up almost 5 percent for the day.

Also Wednesday morning, Genesco CEO Robert Dennis said the firm expects annual sales growth of 8 percent this year, and comp gains “exceeding” 3 percent to 4 percent. Genesco shares increased 6 percent to $39 shortly after noon.

Nine other firms, including Crocs Inc., Deckers Outdoor Corp. and Wolverine World Wide Inc., also issued forward-looking statements at ICR. Eight of them saw their shares rise between 1 percent and 4 percent during the trading day.

The only exception was Bakers, whose stock did not trade on Wednesday. However, the firm did not issue guidance during the conference, and its shares opened 1 percent lower on Thursday morning.

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