Steve Madden Preannounces Q4 Sales, Updates Expectations

After the market close on Monday, Steve Madden preannounced a mixed finish to the fourth quarter, which has been overwhelmingly described as a tough one for the footwear-and-apparel industry.

The fashion footwear-and-accessories designer said its fourth-quarter net sales totaled $344.2 million, up a modest 0.5 percent year-over-year, and below Wall Street’s expectations for revenues of $360.3 million.

The company also addressed its outlook for fiscal year 2015. It now expects diluted earnings per share to be at the low end of its previously provided guidance range of $1.85 to $1.95.

In light of the challenging retail environment and unfavorable weather in the fourth quarter, we are pleased that earnings results for fiscal 2015 are expected to be within the guidance range, albeit at the low end,” said Steve Madden Chairman and CEO Edward Rosenfeld in a release. “Fourth-quarter diluted EPS is expected to increase more than 25 percent from the prior year period despite headwinds from a heavily promotional retail environment and a challenging landscape for seasonal products like boots and cold-weather accessories.”

The company said Q4 net sales for its wholesale division fell 1.8 percent, to $265 million; retail net sales grew 8.9 percent, to $79.2 million; and retail comps increased 6.1 percent.

For fiscal year 2015, net sales were $1.4 billion, a 5.3 percent gain; wholesale net sales grew 3.3 percent, to $1.2 billion; retail net sales increased 15.9 percent, to $240.3 million; and retail comps rose 11.2 percent.

Just last week, Citi Research analyst Corinna Van der Ghinst reduced her price target for Steve Madden’s shares, to $33 from $39, citing a “more conservative view of the U.S. retail environment heading into 2016.”

Higher Q4 inventories and pushed-out spring ’16 deliveries [are] likely to result in higher pressure to the top line and gross margins than previously anticipated,” Van der Ghinst added. “Longer term, we continue to see more significant opportunities for growth driven by share gains from recent (and potentially additional) acquisitions, international expansion and continued improvements in Steve Madden’s leading speed-to-market supply chain.”

Steve Madden’s preliminary earnings announcement follows those of Genesco Inc. and Shoe Carnival Inc., which also preannounced Q4 earnings Monday.

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