Shoe Carnival Stock Sees Double-Digit Percent Gains on Q4 Earnings Beat

Shoe Carnival Inc. shares are popping in after-hours trading following better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings results.

The family footwear chain posted profits of $1.4 million, or 9 cents per diluted share, a considerable improvement over the year-ago losses of $3.9 million, or 24 cents a share, and better than Wall Street’s projections of 6 cents per share.

The midprice retailer cited women’s boots among the key growth drivers, as it saw comparable store sales rise 4.7 percent versus the previous year. Revenues, meanwhile, dipped 3.5 percent to $234.7 million but also bested Wall Street’s forecasts for sales of $232.8 million.

“Our comparable store sales increases were broad-based, driven by positive results for both our athletic and nonathletic footwear,” said president and CEO Cliff Sifford. “We believe our customer-centric strategic initiatives, trend-right selection of compelling brands and the latest fashion, along with our exciting in-store environment, continue to make Shoe Carnival the store of choice for moderately priced family footwear.”

For the full year, Shoe Carnival reported sales of $1.03 billion — a modest improvement over the prior year’s $1.01 billion — on a bottom line that more than doubled to $38.1 million, or $2.45 per diluted share. Same-store sales climbed 4.3 percent for the fiscal year. It also opened three doors and closed 14 during 2018, with Sifford and CFO Kerry Jackson announcing in the company’s fourth-quarter conference call that the firm does not “have plans to expand out of the current footprint.”

The Evansville, Ind.-based firm also addressed rival Payless ShoeSource’s recent demise, identifying its potential to reap the benefits from the discount retailer’s downfall. (Last month, Payless became the latest casualty in a string of retailers that have gone bankrupt due to the rise of e-commerce and changing consumer demands.)

“Anytime a competitor goes away, we have to look at it from a business standpoint, [and] I think it’s positive for us,” Sifford said in the call. “The great part about Shoe Carnival is that we carry a broad range of products at a broad range of price points, so I think there’s a benefit to be had.”

Reiterating its positive outlook for the year, Shoe Carnival expects earnings per diluted share for the year to be in the range of $2.60 to $2.70.

As of 5 p.m. ET, Shoe Carnival’s stock had jumped upwards of 15 percent to $35.09.

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