Famous Footwear, Strong Wholesale Drives Brown in Q2

With strong headwinds for fashion and retail, Brown Shoe Co. announced it missed net sale expectations, but beat on net earnings during the second quarter, and raised guidance for the rest of the year.

For the period ending Aug. 2, the St. Louis-based company’s net earnings were $18.1 million, or 41 cents per diluted share, an increase of 17.6 percent over 2013’s $15.4 million, or 35 cents per share. Analysts had expected 35 cents a share for the quarter.

However, revenue was a miss for the firm. The firm announced $635.9 million in sales, compared to analyst expectations of $637.7 million for the period. However, second-quarter revenue marked an increase of 2.3 percent over revenue of $621.7 million in the year-ago period.

For the company’s retail segment, Famous Footwear performed strongly, with same-store sales up 1.6 percent year-over-year and overall sales of $393.6 million. Diane Sullivan, CEO, president and chairman, said that casual styles and sandals did well, and the brand is also confident in its back-to-school strategy focused on brick-and-mortar and e-commerce sales.

“Our second-quarter results reflect the health of both our retail and wholesale businesses as we continue to benefit from — and expand on — our portfolio realignment efforts,” Sullivan said.

Wholesale also excelled in the second quarter, raking in $194.3 million and benefiting from strong performance by Via Spiga, Vince, Sam Edelman and Dr. Scholl’s. But Vince, which launched men’s footwear during the quarter, was the strongest performer thanks to the new line’s more modern styling and sandals.

Naturalizer struggled during the quarter.

The company updated guidance for the back half of the year. Brown Shoe Co. now expects $1.50 to $1.60 per diluted share at the end of 2014.

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