Famous Footwear owner Caleres Inc. fell short of Wall Street’s forecasts for the fourth quarter — even as its newly-expanded brand portfolio posted double-digit sales growth.
The St. Louis, Mo.-based company — which owns shoe brands such as Sam Edelman and Naturalizer and in 2018 acquired labels Vionic and Blowfish Malibu — reported adjusted diluted net earnings per share of 38 cents for the three months ended Feb. 2, which included costs related to the Vionic buy. Analysts had expected earnings of 45 cents per share.
Overall revenues for the quarter were $720.3 million, a 2.5 percent increase over last year, but short of the consensus estimate of $738.1 million. While Famous Footwear — which accounts for more than half of the firm’s revenues — saw same-store sales tick up 1.1 percent, overall sales fell year over year. The company noted that the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 had an extra week.
Revenues at the brand portfolio were up 14.8 percent to $355.1 million. (The figure included sales at Vionic, which Caleres bought for $360 million in Oct. 2018.)
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“At Vionic, we are working with a strong team already in place to build on the brand’s existing energy, and the team is in the early phases of leveraging Caleres’ sourcing to maximize product opportunities,” said president, chairman and CEO Diane Sullivan on a call with investors and analysts.
The exec also pointed to the strength of Sam Edelman brand and said it continued to be a growth driver. “Sam’s consistency and his team’s consistency in brand messaging and unwavering attention to detail and his authentic way of telling the brand’s story is really unmatched in the marketplace,” she said. “For 2019 we’ll continue to expand awareness and assortment for Sam’s flagship brand, and also expand our overall distribution by adding new doors for the Circus brand.”
The company also unveiled a revamped loyalty program for Famous Footwear on Thursday. “We’re increasing our focus on customer loyalty to ensure members feel valued, are rewarded with our best savings and receive communications that are more engaging,” said Famous Footwear president Molly Adams in a statement. It also says it is elevating its product assortment through deeper vendor relationships going into the new fiscal year.
For full-year 2019, Caleres forecasts sales growth in the low- to mid-teens in its brand portfolio, and same-store-sales growth in the low- to mid-single digits at Famous Footwear. It anticipates adjusted diluted earnings per share of $2.45 to $2.55.
Caleres’ stock fell more than 6 percent in after-hours trading.
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