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Why Brown Shoe Shares Jumped

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of the Brown Shoe Co. (NYSE: CAL  ) were stepping up to the next level today, climbing as much as 16% after beating earnings estimates in its quarterly report.

So what: The footwear maker turned in an adjusted per-share profit of $0.32, better than estimates of just $0.22. Interestingly, earnings per share grew from $0.23 a year ago, despite a decline in revenue as sales fell 1.6% to $588.7 million, well off estimates of $609.1 million. Bad weather in February and March seemed to hamper sales as same-store sales at its core Famous Footwear chain were up 1.1% for the quarter but jumped 14.2% in April once weather improved.

Now what: While the company's wholesale business declined in the quarter, the strong comparable-sales growth in April seems to indicate that revenue declines shouldn't be a problem going forward. Also, accounting for brands the company exited in the previous year, sales were essentially flat. The cost-cutting and margin improvement are encouraging and seem to indicate the restructuring process is going effectively, but I'd wait to see evidence of revenue growth before investing.

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