Brown Shoe posts $8.2 million fourth quarter loss

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 | 12:27 p.m. CST

ST. LOUIS — Brown Shoe Co. said on Wednesday that it lost $8.2 million in its fiscal fourth quarter, citing costs related to its ongoing restructuring.

The results excluding those costs still fell significantly short of Wall Street predictions, and the company issued a lower-than-expected full year profit prediction. Its shares tumbled $1.28, or 9.7 percent, to $9.15 in late-morning trading.

Brown Shoe, which owns the Famous Footwear and Naturalizer retail chains, struggled through much of 2011 as shoppers cut back their spending amid the tough economic times.

The company said it continued to make progress on its restructuring plan during the quarter, closing a factory in China and identifying an additional 15 Famous Footwear locations that will be closed this year.

In addition, the company said on Wednesday that it will close its Sikeston distribution center this year. The phased closure is expected to begin in May and be finished in October.

About 155 employees will lose their jobs, Brown Shoe said.

For the quarter that ended Jan. 28, the St. Louis-based shoe company's net loss amounted to 21 cents per share. It reported a net income of $3.4 million, or 8 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2010.

Excluding one-time items, the company said it posted an adjusted profit of 10 cents per share. But analysts surveyed by FactSet expected 20 cents a share. The analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $628.9 million from $604.5 million, as revenue at its wholesale business jumped 18 percent to $205.1 million, but Famous Footwear sales edged down 1 percent to $352.4 million.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 20 cents per share on $644.8 million in revenue.

For the full year 2011, the company reported net income of $24.6 million, or 56 cents per share, down from $37.2 million, or 85 cents per share, in 2010. Revenue rose to $2.58 billion from $2.5 billion.

Brown Shoe said it expects to post an adjusted fiscal 2012 profit of 78 cents to 92 cents per share, with the bulk of the profits coming in the second half of the year. Sales are expected to total between $2.55 billion and $2.58 billion.

Analysts polled by FactSet expect earnings of $1.04 per share on $2.54 billion in revenue.

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