Shoe Carnival Inc. posted a strong third quarter even as sales from a pandemic-delayed back-to-school season factored largely into the past three-month period.
For the 13 weeks ended Oct. 31, the Evansville, Ind.-based company logged profits of $14.7 million, or earnings of $1.03 per share, compared with the prior year’s income of $13.7 million, or 94 cents in EPS. Analysts had forecasted earnings of 70 cents per share. On the other hand, revenues were flat at $274.6 million — slightly down from market watchers’ bets of $275.6 million.
Last quarter, Shoe Carnival reported that most of the volume it typically sees in August from back-to-school sales would likely shift to later in the quarter and extend through the end of October.
Despite the sales miss in Q3, the chain was upbeat on its comps, which increased 0.9%, as e-commerce advanced upwards of 150%. (Its online business represented more than 13% of total sales in the period.)
“We achieved same-store sales growth and delivered the most profitable quarter in Shoe Carnival’s history despite the extended back-to-school season,” vice chairman and CEO Cliff Sifford said in a statement. “This would not have been possible without the hard work of our Shoe Carnival team members, our incredibly solid vendor partnerships and dedicated customers.”
According to the footwear retailer, membership in Shoe Perks was close to 10% growth compared with the prior year, bringing total subscriptions to the loyalty program to nearly 26 million.
Shoe Carnival currently operates 383 stores in 35 states across the United States and Puerto Rico. It opened one new location in the third quarter and didn’t close any stores, while it expects four openings and 13 closures during the fiscal year as a whole.
Due to uncertainties stemming from the persistent coronavirus pandemic, plus considering an unprecedented holiday shopping season ahead, the company opted against providing an outlook for the following quarter and the full year. It ended the quarter with cash and equivalents of $46.7 million, with no outstanding debt.
“Our disciplined focus on financial flexibility and the strength of our business model continue to fuel our market leading performance notwithstanding the ongoing disruption caused by the global pandemic,” Sifford added. “We are excited about our market share gains in the quarter and believe our enduring competitive advantages position us for future growth.”