Brown Shoe has 3Q profit, Famous Footwear helps

AP News
Posted: Nov 24, 2009 5:17 PM

Brown Shoe Co. reported a higher third-quarter profit on Tuesday, citing cost controls and rising sales at its Famous Footwear locations open more than one year.

The footwear company's earnings rose to $16.3 million, or 38 cents per share, from $10.4 million, or 25 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding charges for information technology initiatives, the company would have earned 42 cents per share in the latest period.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, whose estimates normally exclude one-time items, predicted earnings of 38 cents per share.

Sales slipped to $625.6 million from $631.7 million but beat Wall Street's average estimate of $617.8 million.

Famous Footwear sales dipped 7 percent to $389.2 million, but sales at stores open more than a year rose 4.7 percent. Same-store sales are a key indicator of retailer performance since they measure growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.

CEO Ron Fromm said better marketing helped deliver a strong back-to-school season at Famous Footwear. The company also controlled expenses and inventory, which boosted margins.

Total sales in the fourth quarter will rise by the low to mid-single digits, Brown Shoe said.

The company expects to generate earnings in the fourth quarter and turn a profit in full-year 2009.

Shares fell 90 cents, or nearly 8 percent, to close at $10.47.