Brown Shoe Company’s first quarter results exceeded expectations according to CEO, president and chair Diane Sullivan, and the company is raising its annual EPS guidance range as a result.
Net sales for the quarter increased 0.4% to $591.2 million from $588.7 million for the prior-year quarter. The company reported net earnings for the quarter of $15.4 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $10.8 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, in the first quarter last year. Gross profit margin for the quarter increased to 41% from 40.8% in the prior-year quarter.
Sullivan cited strong contemporary fashion platform sales and a return to more seasonal weather for the last two weeks of April as the driving factors for the company’s first quarter results. “We feel optimistic about second quarter and the potential to benefit from pent-up spring shoe demand,” she added.
Famous Footwear sales for the quarter were $354.6 million, up 0.7% year-over-year, with same-store-sales up 1.3%. Performance in the quarter was driven by athletics, specifically canvas, which continued to perform well. During the quarter, 21 stores were closed or relocated and 11 new stores were added.
Wholesale sales for the quarter were $191.8 million, up 5.6%. For the healthy living platform, wholesale sales of $104.7 million were up 0.7%. Contemporary fashion wholesale sales of $86.9 million were up 12.3% in the first quarter, with strong improvement coming from the Via Spiga brand.
To account for the better-than-anticipated first quarter, the company is raising its annual guidance range to $1.47 to $1.57. For the full year, the company anticipates consolidated net sales to range between $2.58 and $2.6 billion. It expects a low single-digit increase in Famous Footwear same-store sales, a mid-single digit decrease in specialty retail net sales and a mid-single digit increase in wholesale operations.