Caleres Posts Earnings, Sales Beat for Q4, Outlines Cautious Guidance

Caleres reported better-than-expected results in the fourth quarter, though shares dipped slightly in pre-market trading on Tuesday after the company issued a cautious outlook for fiscal year 2024.

The St. Louis-based company reported fourth quarter sales of $697.1 million, up 0.1 percent from the prior year and ahead of the $694.3 million expected by analysts surveyed by Yahoo. Adjusted net earnings were $30.8 million for the quarter, with adjusted earnings per diluted share of 86 cent, ahead of the 85 cents expected by analysts.

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Caleres president and chief executive officer Jay Schmidt said Caleres’ fourth quarter performance was largely driven by its brand portfolio, which “led the financial performance of the company,” he said in a statement.

This segment includes the company’s owned brands, such as VionicAllen Edmonds, Naturalizer, Sam Edelman — which is marking its 20th anniversary — and more. Brand sales increased 4.5 percent in Q4 and delivered its “best-ever annual adjusted operating earnings, which topped $148 million,” Schmidt said.

“Our brand portfolio – powered by our lead brands – has tremendous growth potential, and Famous is poised to strengthen its position as the No. 1 footwear destination for the Millennial family,” Schmidt said.

As for Famous Footwear, Q4 net sales declined 1.5 percent and comp sales were down 5.9 percent in what Schmidt described as a “competitive market environment.” The executive added that the footwear chain saw positive results during the holidays and in its kids business.

For the full year, Caleres’ net sales were down 5.1 percent to $2.82 billion, in line with the company’s prior guidance. Adjusted net earnings were $149.3 million, with adjusted earnings per diluted share of $4.18, ahead of its guidance range.

Looking ahead, Caleres provided an outlook for fiscal year 2024 that includes the anticipated impact of of “ongoing companywide cost reduction initiatives against anticipated headwinds” such as an expected decline in the footwear market, inflation’s impact on consumer demand and an increase in freight costs.

For fiscal year 2024, net sales are expected to be between flat and up 2 percent, compared to the prior year. Earnings per diluted share is expected to be between $4.30 and $4.60. For the first quarter, Caleres expects consolidated net sales to be between flat and up 1 percent, with earnings per diluted share in line with Q4 on an adjusted basis.

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