Sector Snap: Weather worries dampen shoe sellers

Shoe co. shares edge down on worries about cool and rainy weather's effect on 2Q sandal sales

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of shoe companies edged down Monday on worries that continued cool and rainy weather in many parts of the country will significantly reduce their second-quarter sales of sandals and other summer footwear.

Wedbush analyst Corinna Freedman said that while May temperatures weren't as far below historical averages as they were in April, the persistently wet weather through both months and likely into June probably further reduced demand for open-toes shoes like sandals.

As a result, Freedman said her optimism that the companies' second-quarter results will beat Wall Street predictions has diminished. With about two weeks to go in the quarter, the analyst cut her profit estimates for footwear retailers, while also reducing her sales predictions to reflect a slightly higher level of discounts.

Freedman noted that Steven Madden Ltd.'s sandal promotions became more aggressive as the quarter progressed. As a result, she now expects the company's revenue at stores open at least a year to rise just 3 percent for the quarter, down from her previous prediction of 5 percent growth.

The metric is a key measure of a retailer's health, because it excludes revenue at stores that recently opened and closed.

She also cut her second-quarter profit prediction for Steven Madden by 3 cents to 65 cents per share. On average, analysts polled by FactSet expect a profit of 65 cents per share.

Meanwhile, Freedman said that second-quarter sales promotions at Crocs Inc. remained relatively comparable to those of a year ago, but said it was likely that store traffic was weak during the quarter as a result of the bad weather.

She said she now expects that company's revenue at stores open at least a year to be down about 1 percent for the quarter, compared with her previous prediction of flat results. She also cut her second-quarter profit prediction by 3 cents to 62 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expect a profit of 64 cents per share.

In midday trading, Steve Madden shares fell 34 cents to $48.10, while Crocs shares edged down 5 cents to $16.41.

Among other shoe makers and retailers, Deckers Outdoor Corp. fell 25 cents to $54.79; DSW Inc. edged down 29 cents to $74.12; Brown Shoe Co. rose 10 cents to $21.19; and Shoe Carnival Inc. rose 28 cents to $24.43.

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