Genesco Outlook Cautious

Genesco Inc. posted an 8.7 percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings to $42.2 million, or $1.79 a diluted share, despite flat same-store sales over the holidays amid unseasonably cold weather and a heavy promotional environment.

Helping the result were lower one-time impairment charges, the company said.

Revenue for the period decreased 0.5 percent to $792.5 million, from $797 million in the prior corresponding period.

The firm missed analysts’ consensus forecast of $2.18 a share on revenue of $804.4 million. Genesco shares were 1.1 percent lower, at $72.13, in morning trading.

Robert Dennis, Genesco’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement, “Our fiscal 2014 performance reflects a challenging selling environment throughout the year, including the fourth quarter.  While our overall results were lower than we planned, we are confident the fundamentals of our business remain intact.”

Adjusted for one-off items, which include asset impairments and deferred purchase price expenses, the company reported net income of $51 million, or $2.16 a diluted share, down slightly from $51.4 million, or $2.16, a year earlier.

Dennis said inconsistent sales patterns that marred trading in the latter part of 2013 hurt sales in recent months.

“Following a difficult first week [of March] that was marked by severe winter storms in several of our key markets, comparable sales turned positive and margins have held up. However, we remain cautious in our outlook for the first half of the fiscal year given the lack of a strong new fashion driver in the teen footwear space and continued uncertainty around customer traffic,” he said.

Based on the current environment, Dennis said the company expects adjusted fiscal 2015 diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $5.40 to $5.55, which represents a 6 percent to 9 percent increase on Genesco’s fiscal 2014 adjusted EPS of $5.09.

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