Brown Shoe expects 3Q profit to beat views

AP News
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Posted: Nov 18, 2009 11:00 AM

Brown Shoe Co. said it expects its third-quarter profit to top analysts' estimates on an improvement in a key sales figure.

Late Tuesday the footwear company said it anticipates quarterly earnings of 40 cents to 41 cents per share, which removes 4 cents per share related to information technology initiatives.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, whose estimates normally exclude one-time items, forecast third-quarter profit of 30 cents per share.

Brown Shoe said sales for the period ended Oct. 31 dipped 1 percent to $625.6 million.

Sales at Famous Footwear stores open at least a year rose 4.7 percent compared with a 5 percent decline a year ago. Sales for specialty retail stores open at least a year grew 4.1 percent compared with a 6.7 percent dropoff last year.

This figure is a key indicator of retailer performance since it measures growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.

The company also announced that Division President-Wholesale Gary Rich and Division President-Retail Joe Wood plan to retire next year. Rich will be succeeded by Mark Lardie, who will handle the company's Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl's and LifeStride brands as well as its specialty retail stores. Dan Friedman will become Division President-Wholesale, Product and Sourcing, responsible for women's specialty, children's and celebrity artist brands.

Brown Shoe also appointed Rick Ausick, Division President-Brown Shoe Wholesale, as Division President-Famous Footwear. It named Senior Vice President-Brown Wholesale Clay Jenkins as Senior Vice President-Specialty Brands and tapped Jay Schmidt as Senior Vice President-Wholesale, Better and Image Brands. Schmidt has served as Senior Vice President and General Manager-Image Brands since last year.

The company will report its third-quarter results on Nov. 24.

Shares of Brown Shoe added 18 cents to $11.53 in morning trading.