DSW Starts Afresh in Lawrence

Zacks Equity Research
December 26, 2012

DSW Inc. (DSW) – a leading footwear and accessories retailer – recovered from the effects of Hurricane Sandy and reopened its Lawrence store. The company had first opened its Lawrence store in November 2011.

Columbus, Ohio-based DSW Inc. operates 364 stores in 41 states as of December 24, 2012, and supplies footwear to 344 leased locations in the U.S. It also runs an e-commerce site www.dsw.com and a mobile website m.dsw.com.

Earlier the company posted better-than-expected fiscal third quarter 2012 (ended October 27, 2012) financial results. The quarterly adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.02, escalating 15.9% from the comparable quarter earnings of 88 cents in the last year. Moreover, it came substantially ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 89 cents a share. Including one-time items, earnings for the third quarter stood at $1.10 per share compared with 75 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Net sales for the quarter increased 11.7% year over year to $592.7 million from $530.7 million in the year-ago quarter, due to a rise of 6.3% in comparable store sales. The company experienced growth in its comparable store sales for 13 back-to-back quarters. Moreover, DSW surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $588 million.

DSW, which competes with J. C. Penney Company Inc. (JCP), expects adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $3.30–$3.40 for fiscal 2012, representing an average increase of approximately 11.7% from the prior-year earnings of $3.00 per share.

The company continues to expect comps growth in the mid-single-digits range for the full year. The guidance so provided by the company includes the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

Moreover, management disclosed that the company is planning to open a total of 39 new stores in the rest of fiscal 2012 and announced its plan of launching 25–30 new stores in fiscal 2013.

DSW currently carries a Zacks #1 Rank, implying a short-term ‘Strong Buy’ rating on the stock for the next 1–3 months.

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