Shoe Carnival reports record annual profit

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Strong sales of sandals, boots and toning footwear helped Shoe Carnival Inc. post record profit and same-store sales in its last fiscal year.

The Evansville-based shoe and apparel retailer said Thursday that it earned $26.8 million, or $2.05 cents per share, for its fiscal year ended Jan. 29, compared with $15.2 million, or $1.20 per share, in fiscal 2009.

Revenue increased 8.3 percent, to $739.2 million, while same-store sales, which reflect revenue from stores open at least a year, increased 8.2 percent.

For the fiscal fourth quarter, Shoe Carnival reported profit of $4.4 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with $2.6 million, or 20 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Analysts had expected earnings of 31 cents per share for the fourth quarter.

Strong same-store sales combined with higher gross profit margins and controlled expenses helped Shoe Carnival produce its second-highest fourth-quarter profit in the company’s history.

Fourth-quarter revenue grew 5.3 percent, to $179.9 million, while same-store sales increased 4.6 percent.

“Our consistent financial performance gives us confidence to remain optimistic about our fiscal 2011 outlook, despite the fact that we are up against difficult comparisons,” President and CEO Mark Lemond said in a prepared statement.

Shoe Carnival said it expects to earn 72 cents to 75 cents a share on revenue of $198 million to $201 million in the fiscal first quarter.

The chain of 314 stores in the Midwest, South and Southeast said it will open 20 new stores and close five locations in the current fiscal year.

Company shares on Thursday climbed nearly 2 percent, to close at $25.86 each. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $16.24 to $30.09


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