Brown Shoe’s 3Q profit up 12 percent

Brown Shoe’s 3Q profit up 12 percent

Clayton-based Brown Shoe Co. saw profits rise 12.4 percent in the third quarter and adjusted its earnings forecast a bit higher for the rest of the year.

Company executives noted that Famous Footwear reported record sales of $439.6 million in the third quarter with a 4.9 percent increase in same-store sales.

Diane Sullivan, the company’s chief executive, said that while the shoe chain saw some of the same traffic challenges reported by other retailers during the back-to-school season, transactions were up. She said sports slides, canvas shoes, and lightweight running saw strong results.

For Brown Shoe, net sales in the third quarter rose 1 percent to $702.8 million, up from $696 million in the same quarter a year ago. Those numbers excluded sales from discontinued operations from both quarters.

Net earnings in the quarter were $27.3 million, or 63 cents a share, up 12.4 percent from $24.3 million, or 56 cents a share.

As for its wholesale brands, which saw a 4.5 percent increase in the quarter, Sullivan noted that the Sam Edelman brand continues to be “red hot” with sales increases in the mid-double digits. The brand also recently launched an e-commerce store, which she said has been doing well thus far.

As a result of its strong performance, Brown raised its adjusted earnings per share guidance to $1.40 from $1.36. But executives said they are well aware that many of the retailers they work with continue to struggle with traffic and higher promotional activity.

“For the fourth quarter, we expect to operate under the same level of caution as many of our peers, as uncertainty around traffic promotional activity and consumer sentiment appears to be permeating the overall industry this holiday season,” Russ Hammer, the company’s chief financial officer said in a statement.