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Sales Up at Shoe Carnival, But Not Quite Enough to Please Investors

Investors have been bullish on Shoe Carnival for a few quarters now, but today the midwest-based footwear retailer announced its first quarter results and came up short of expectations.

For Q1, net sales at the company increased $7.7 million to a first quarter record of $260.5 million, while comparable store sales increased 2.7 percent year-over-year, the seventh consecutive quarterly increase.

Earnings per diluted share increased 7.7 percent to a first quarter record of 56 cents, or 52 cents per diluted share. Analysts may have been a little too excited on news of the company’s growth – wrongly betting diluted earnings per share would hit 57 cents per share.

The retailer said that while colder-than-expected Easter weather hurt its performance, sales began to pick up again by the end of the quarter, and that it expects sales to continue to climb as temperatures warm up.

“We are pleased with our start to fiscal 2016 as we continue to benefit from our multi-channel sales initiative,” stated Cliff Sifford, Shoe Carnival’s President and CEO. “Our record first quarter sales and diluted earnings per share were driven by continued strength in athletic footwear for the entire family and tight expense control.”

For fiscal year 2016, Shoe Carnival reiterated its guidance, saying it expects net sales in the range of $1.007 billion to $1.027 billion, with a comparable store sales increase in the range of 1 to 3 percent. Shoe Carnival also said it expects to open approximately 20 stores this year, including six small-market stores, while closing approximately ten stores within the next fiscal year.