Shoe Carnival Rises on Good Third Quarter

Shoe Carnival Inc. share prices rose in after-market trading following its beat of Wall Street expectations during the third quarter.

The Evansville, Ind. retailer announced it made $10.8 million, or 54 cents per diluted share, a major gain over the 48 cents per share predicted by analysts. It was a slight decrease over the year-ago period of $10.9 million, also 54 cents per share.

Total sales for the quarter totaled $254.7 million, an 8 percent growth compared to the third quarter of 2013’s $235.8 million. Market watchers expected the store to hit $248.8 million during the quarter.

Comparative store sales were up 2.3 percent during the quarter. Executives on a conference call credited boots and canvas as two strong categories during the quarter and the back-to-school period. Athletics continued to do well, but dress shoes remained flat, as did boat shoes and sport sandals.

Overall, executives also sounded upbeat about the revamped Shoe Carnival website, omnichannel initiatives and first-ever national marketing campaign.

“We are pleased to report results that exceeded our expectations for net sales, comparable store sales and earnings per share for the third quarter,” said Cliff Sifford, president and CEO. “These results reflect strong sales in our fashion boot category and progress in key initiatives we announced last year — mainly, national advertising, better brands in our women’s department and a reinvigorated e-commerce presence. I am proud of the entire Shoe Carnival family and believe our strategy will continue to benefit long-term sales and earnings growth.”

The company predicts earnings per diluted share to be 6 to 10 cents for fiscal year 2014. Net sales during the fourth quarter are expected to range between $218 million and $222 million.

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