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'We remain optimistic about sales trends for Q3' - Shoe Carnivals

Aug '09
Shoe Carnival, Inc. a leading retailer of value-priced footwear and accessories, announced sales and earnings for the second quarter ended August 1, 2009.

Sales for the second quarter of 2009 were $152.8 million, compared to sales of $158.5 million for the prior year second quarter. Comparable store sales declined 6.4 percent.

Net earnings for the thirteen-week second quarter were $982,000, or $0.08 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $977,000, or $0.08 per diluted share, for the thirteen-week second quarter ended August 2, 2008.

The gross profit margin for the second quarter increased 0.2 percent to 26.8 percent compared to 26.6 percent for the second quarter of the prior year. The merchandise margin increased 0.4 percent, primarily due to better inventory control. As a percentage of sales, buying, distribution and occupancy costs increased 0.2 percent due primarily to the deleveraging effect of lower sales on occupancy costs.

Selling, general and administrative expenses for the second quarter decreased $1.7 million to $39.0 million, or 25.6 percent of sales, compared to $40.7 million, or 25.7 percent of sales, for the second quarter of 2008.

Speaking on the results, Mark Lemond, chief executive officer and president said, "We are pleased to report that we met or exceeded the majority of our internal goals for the second quarter of 2009. While consumer spending and the overall economic environment remained challenging in the second quarter, we were able to improve our year-over-year gross and operating margins and, therefore, record earnings per share equal to last year. We believe the absence of government stimulus checks, which were provided to the consumer during the second quarter of last year, had a negative impact on our second quarter comparable store sales and traffic.In addition, the sales-tax-free holidays in nine of our states shifted from the second quarter last year into the third quarter this year, which accounted for approximately two percent of the comparable store sales decline for the quarter."

Mr. Lemond continued, "For the first three weeks of August, our comparable stores sales have increased approximately 11 percent, as consumers are responding well to both our athletic and non-athletic product assortments. Only about 5 percent of the 11 percent increase is due to the shift of sales-tax-free holidays out of fiscal July and into fiscal August. While there is considerable uncertainty regarding consumer discretionary spending after back-to-school, we remain optimistic about the sales trends for the remainder of the third quarter. Therefore, due to these improved trends early in the third quarter, we expect to record positive comparable store sales for the quarter."

Net income for the first half of 2009 was $5.1 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, compared with net income of $5.8 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, in the first half of last year. Net sales for the first six months were $320.1 million compared to net sales of $320.6 million for the same period last year. Comparable store sales for the twenty-six week period ended August 1, 2009 decreased 3.3 percent, compared to the twenty-six week period ended August 2, 2008. The gross profit margin for the first six months of 2009 was 27.4 percent compared to 27.8 percent last year. Selling, general and administrative expenses, as a percentage of sales, were 24.7 percent for the first six months of 2009 as compared to 24.9 percent last year.

Store Growth
Currently, the Company expects to open approximately 16 new stores in fiscal 2009 and close eight stores. Click here for

For more details of Store openings and closings by quarter and for the fiscal year are currently planned Click here:

Shoe Carnival Inc

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