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Steve Madden 1Q earnings up 7 pct on strong sales

NEW YORK (AP) -- Steve Madden Inc. reported Tuesday that its first-quarter earnings rose 7 percent, as the shoe and accessories retailer enjoyed solid sales of its product under its name.

The chain says it earned $23.4 million, or 52 cents per share, for the three-month period ended March 31. That compares with $21.9 million, or 50 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose nearly 5 percent to $278.9 million in the quarter from the year ago's $265.9 million.

Analysts had expected earnings per share of 51 cents on revenue of $281.8 million, according to FactSet.

"We delivered solid sales and earnings results in the first quarter, despite challenging weather conditions and retail traffic," said Edward Rosenfeld, chairman and CEO in a statement. He noted that the results were fueled by such factors as continued momentum in its accessories business, growth in its retail segment driven by both new stores and modest sales growth in existing stores, as well as expansion in its international business.

Net sales from the company's wholesale business increased 2.2 percent to $233.9 million in the first quarter, compared with $228.9 million in the year-ago period.

Sales at Steve Madden stores rose 21.7 percent to $45.1 million, compared with $37.0 million in the year-ago period. Revenue at stores opened at least a year rose 3 percent.

The company, based in Long Island City, N.Y., ended the quarter with 110 company-operated retail locations, including 11 outlets and three Internet stores.

Steve Madden reaffirmed that it expects net sales will increase anywhere from 6 percent to 8 percent this year up from the year-ago period.

This implies revenue in a range of approximately $1.3 billion to $1.33 billion.

Earnings per share is expected to be in the range of $2.95 per share to $3.05 per share for the year.

Analysts, on average, are projecting $2.99 per share on revenue of $1.33 billion.

Steve Madden shares slipped 13 cents to $47.43 in morning trading. The stock has changed hands between $31.25 and $48.84 in the past 52 weeks.