Shares of Caleres Inc. were up nearly 12% in after-market trading today after a stellar Q1.
The St. Louis-based footwear company reported net sales of $735.1 million in the quarter, up 15.1% from the first quarter of fiscal 2021. Net earnings were $50.5 million compared to $6.1 million in the same period last year. (The company, which posted earnings per diluted share of $1.32, blew past analyst estimates of 83 cents a share.)
In a statement on Tuesday, Caleres chairman and CEO Diane Sullivan said that the company maintained its “strong momentum” from 2021, delivering its “best-ever” first quarter performance for sales, gross profit margins, and earnings.
“Caleres had an outstanding start to the year, executing at a high level and delivering record first quarter sales, gross profit margins and earnings despite significant and ongoing macro-challenges,” said Sullivan in a statement. “Notably, Famous (Footwear) extended its exceptional performance from 2021, achieving another quarter of strong gross profit margin and generating nearly $50 million in operating earnings, while strategically investing for growth.”
While Famous Footwear did achieve a strong gross profit margin, the business segment did see a 3.4% sales decline in Q1. This was offset by a 46.1% sales increase in the company’s brand portfolio segment.
Sullivan said in a conference call that Caleres’ “strategic approach” to inventory, helped drive sales this quarter. The company stated that its inventory levels were up approximately 45% year-over-year, reflecting ongoing efforts to align inventory with consumer demand and includes increased in-transit inventory resulting from port delays and protracted transportation time.
Given the strong start to the year, Caleres said it is raising its fiscal-year 2022 financial outlook. Specifically, the company now expects consolidated sales levels to be up between 2% and 5% when compared to fiscal year 2021 and expects earnings per diluted share to be between $4.20 and $4.40.
“Looking ahead, even with ongoing supply chain challenges and persistent macro-economic headwinds, Caleres is exceptionally well-positioned to capitalize on favorable market dynamics,” said Sullivan. “As we progress through the year, we are committed to advancing our strategic priorities and have redoubled our efforts to unlock the growth opportunities identified across the enterprise.”