Shoe Carnival's profit flat in second quarter

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Evansville-based Shoe Carnival Inc. today reported flat profit and declining same-stores sales in its fiscal second quarter.

Profit in the quarter ended Aug. 1 increased less than 1 percent, to $982,000, compared with $977,000 in the same period a year ago. Profit per share held steady at 8 cents.

Same-store sales, which measure revenue from locations open at least a year, declined 6.4 percent from a year earlier.

Quarterly revenue fell 3.6 percent, to $152.8 million.

Shoe Carnival CEO Mark Lemond said the company met or exceeded most of its goals for the three-month period.

“While consumer spending and the overall economic environment remained challenging in the second quarter, we were able to improve our year-over-year gross and operating margins and, therefore, record earnings per share equal to last year,” he said.

The absence of government stimulus checks, which consumers received last summer, likely contributed to the decline in same-store sales, Lemond said.

The company expects to open 16 stores and close eight in fiscal 2009. A store in Houston and another in Orange Park, Fla., opened in the last quarter. Overall, Shoe Carnival operates 314 stores in the Midwest, South and Southeast.

Shoe Carnival shares opened this morning at $14.21, down from a 52-week high of $18.45 in September.


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