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Shoe Carnival Cites Hurricanes and a Pullback in Promos as Q4 Sales Miss the Mark

Shares for Shoe Carnival Inc. have descended into the red in after-hours trading after the firm posted fourth-quarter sales that missed expectations as well as an outlook that calls for little revenue growth in the year ahead.

As of 4:30 p.m. ET, the family footwear retailer’s shares had slid 5.5 percent to $24.10.

Citing a pullback in promotions as well as challenges from last year’s hurricanes, Shoe Carnival posted a comparable store sales decline of 0.5 percent and sales of $243.2 million — which represented a gain of 9 percent over the previous same-period but fell short of forecasts of sales of $248.2 million.

Net losses were $3.9 million, or 24 cents per diluted share. On an adjusted basis, net income was $1.7 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, topping analysts’ bets for diluted earnings per share of 9 cents.

President and CEO Cliff Sifford said 2017 was a transitional year for the shoe retailer as it worked to “[refine] our strategic direction to create an even more fun, exciting and memorable experience for our customers, with the goal of engaging them across our omnichannel offering to position us for growth over the next several years.”

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“Our team executed well throughout the year in the face of external challenges, particularly as our business continues to recover from the hurricanes in certain markets like Puerto Rico,” he noted. “In addition, we strategically pulled back on our promotional cadence during the year, including the decision to close our doors on Thanksgiving Day.”

For the full year, revenues held steady at $1 billion as comparable sales edged up 0.3 percent. Net income fell 20 percent year over year to $18.9 million, or $1.15 per diluted share. Adjusted net income dipped 5 percent to $24.5 million, or $1.49 per diluted share.

Looking ahead, Shoe Carnival forecasted 2018 net sales to be in the range of $1.013 billion to $1.023 billion, with comparable store sales flat to up low single digits. Earnings per diluted share for the fiscal year are expected to be in the range of $1.85 to $2, compared with fiscal 2017 earnings per diluted share of $1.15 and adjusted diluted EPS of $1.49.

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