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Slower Sales of Boots Hurt Shoe Carnival in Q3

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Evansville, Indiana-based Shoe Carnival reported third-quarter profit of $9.7 million (54 cents a share), up from $9.4 million (47 cents a share), during the same quarter last year.

Revenue rose 1.8% to $274.5 million. This came in below analyst expectations, who had predicted profit-per-share of 56 cents and revenue of $278 million.

The company’s comparable sales, which encompass sales at both physical retail locations and through e-commerce, fell 0.4% during the quarter.

Shoe Carnival CEO Cliff Sifford blamed softer-than-expected sales of boots and other seasonal items in the second half of the quarter for the company’s underwhelming performance. He noted a sales increase in athletic merchandise in each month of the quarter, though this was entirely offset by a high-single digit decline in comparable store sales in boot categories.

Sifford promised to ramp up promotional activity during the holiday season to help drive sales, but comparables in November alone were already down 3.3%, according to the company’s earnings report.

For the fiscal year ending in January, Shoe Carnival downgraded its earnings forecast to EPS of $1.46-$1.51 on revenue of $1.002-$1.006 billion, down from previously anticipated EPS of $1.58-$1.65, and revenue of $1.012-$1.016 billion.

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