Shoe Carnival picked up momentum after a slow February. The retailer reported Wednesday net sales of $253.4 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2017, a 2.7% decrease, compared to net sales of $260.5 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2016.
Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2017 was $8.2 million, or $0.48 per diluted share. Compared to $10.7 million, or $0.56 per diluted share in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. Comparable store sales decreased 3.9% in the first quarter.
“While February was a very challenging month due to the delay in the tax refunds, we are encouraged by the improvement in our sales as we progressed through the quarter. Comparable store sales for March and April combined, which includes the shift in the Easter selling season, were up low single digits,” said Cliff Sifford, Shoe Carnival president and CEO.
Sifford said the company’s focus on inventory management resulted in higher merchandise margins and a per-store reduction in inventory for the quarter.
The company expects fiscal 2017 net sales to be in the range of $1.002 billion to $1.018 billion, with comparable store sales flat to down low single digits. Earnings per diluted share for the fiscal year are expected to be in the range of $1.30 to $1.45.