For the quarter ended Feb. 1, the footwear and accessories retailer reported a profit of $598,000, or 3 cents a share, down from $3.2 million, or 13 cents a share, a year earlier. (The prior-year quarter included one additional week) That just missed analysts’ average estimate for 4 cents share.
Net revenue was down 2.6% to $200.3 million, just missing analysts’ estimate for $203.8 million. Comparable store sales were down 2.5%. Gross margin contracted 80 basis points to 28.5%, while selling and general expenses, as a percentage of sales, increased to 28% from 26.7% last year.
“Unfavorable weather in the fourth quarter negatively impacted our customer traffic, and consequently, our sales and earnings results,” said Cliff Sifford, president/ceo. “In particular, robust traffic and sales in November were followed by significant declines in traffic and sales in December and January. Despite this tough sales environment, we ended fiscal 2013 with inventories in excellent shape and believe we are well positioned with the right assortment of family footwear at the right price to capitalize on the Easter selling season.”
Looking ahead, Shoe Carnival forecast earnings of 45 cents to 52 cents a share in the first quarter on sales between $232 million and $241 million.
Analysts’ average estimate expects 49 cents a share on sales of $252.3 million for the quarter.