After ending 2018 on a high note, Shoe Carnival Inc. has logged first quarter sales that missed the mark.
The family footwear chain, which saw its stock in the red during after-hours trading, posted better-than-expected profits that rose nearly 7% to $13.9 million, or earnings per diluted share of 91 cents. (The EPS consensus was at 84 cents.) However, revenues dipped 1.4% to $253.8 million — more than $5 million below Wall Street projections.
Same-store sales during the period also disappointed investors, with the company recording a decline of 0.2% after surpassing estimates three times over the last four quarters.
After market close on Wednesday, Shoe Carnival’s shares were down nearly 3% at $29.65.
“After a difficult February due to the later tax refund season as well as inclement weather, we experienced a positive change in sales for the Easter time period of March and April,” said president and CEO Cliff Sifford. “Our merchants once again did a great job of controlling inventories while maintaining margin. As we look ahead, we believe we have identified a strong assortment of key items and a great product mix, and we remain on track to achieve our outlook for the fiscal year.”
Despite the miss, the Evansville, Ind.-based retailer reiterated its expectations for the year, with revenues in the range of $1.035 billion to $1.043 billion and comparable store sales growing in the low single digits. Earnings per diluted share were predicted to be in the $2.73 to $2.83 scope, up from the previous $2.60 to $2.70.
At the FN CEO Summit, Sifford explained Shoe Carnival’s strategy for success. “We have what we consider a world-class [custom relationship management] program. We want to find out exactly who our customer is, what motivates them, why else they come to Shoe Carnival and where else they shop,” he told Matt Priest, president and CEO of the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America.
The company was also recently honored with the FDRA’s first e-commerce award during the organization’s annual executive summit in Washington, D.C. “E-commerce is having such a big impact right now,” Priest said. “[Shoe Carnival has] turned their retail stores effectively into mini distribution centers.”
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