Companies Give Color on Q4

The fourth quarter is shaping up to be a home run for some and a strikeout for others.

Two firms, Genesco Inc. and DSW Inc., early this week raised their guidance, citing stronger-than-expected sales for the quarter to date.

Meanwhile, The Jones Group Inc. on Tuesday lowered its sales expectations for the period, joining Shoe Carnival Inc., which last week revised down its fourth-quarter guidance on poor boot sales.

Genesco said Monday night that same-store sales for the quarter-to-date period ended Jan. 7, 2012, increased 13 percent from a year ago. Comps in the e-commerce and catalog sales division rose 7 percent, while U.K.-based Schuh, acquired in June 2011, has continued to exceed internal expectations, the firm added.

Accordingly, the Nashville, Tenn.-based retail group upped its earnings guidance. It expects fourth-quarter earnings per share to come in between $1.63 and $1.68, and full-year EPS to range from $3.74 to $3.79. This compares with previous guidance of $1.53 to $1.58 a share, and $3.64 to $3.69 a share, respectively.

DSW also raised its full-year EPS guidance range on Tuesday, based on strong November and December sales results, to between $2.96 and $2.99, from between $2.90 and $2.95.

The Columbus, Ohio-based firm also announced it will accelerate new store openings in 2012 to between 35 to 40 new stores, which is ahead of its long-term goal of 15 to 20 new stores per year. The majority of this year’s store openings will occur in the second half, said the firm’s president and CEO, Mike MacDonald, in a statement.

At Jones, CEO Wesley Card said revenue estimates were lowered because retail sales continued to be promotionally driven through the quarter.

“In the meantime, we are planning very cautiously and tightly controlling inventory purchases and expenses until we see signs of healthy retail sales growth and a less promotional environment,” Card added.

Jones’ fourth-quarter revenues are now expected to come in between $892 million and $895 million, versus previous guidance of $918 million to $961 million. Full-year revenues will be about $3.79 billion, down slightly from $3.80 billion to $3.87 billion previously.

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