Shares of footwear retailer Shoe Carnival (NASDAQ:SCVL) rose 10.1% in August, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The company's second-quarter report was responsible for the gain, with Shoe Carnival beating analyst estimates across the board and providing solid full-year guidance.
Shoe Carnival reported second-quarter revenue of $235.1 million, up 1.4% year over year and almost $3 million higher than the average analyst estimate. Comparable sales increased by 0.4% during the quarter, despite back-to-school shopping being shifted from the second quarter to the third quarter in some markets. Comparable sales jumped 7% in August, a major acceleration from the second quarter.
Earnings came in at $0.24 per share, up from $0.22 per share in the prior-year period and $0.04 better than analysts were expecting. Per-share growth was driven exclusively by share buybacks, with the company reducing its diluted share count by 13.6% year over year. Net income dropped by 5%, but the share count decline allowed Shoe Carnival to report per-share earnings growth.
Shoe Carnival President and CEO Cliff Sifford expects a strong back-to-school period: "Looking ahead, we believe we are well positioned for back-to-school with a trend-right assortment of branded, family footwear, favorable inventory position, and our multi-channel initiatives which have already generated an August comparable store sales increase of 7.0 percent. Our team remains focused on enhancing value for shareholders through our recently increased quarterly cash dividend and existing share repurchase program, in addition to improved execution in a challenging retail environment."
Shoe Carnival expects to produce full-year revenue between $1.006 billion and $1.019 billion, with comparable sales down a low-single-digit percentage at worst and flat at best. That compares to analyst expectations for full-year revenue of $1 billion. Management projects full-year earnings between $1.35 and $1.45 per share, compared to adjusted earnings of $1.40 per share in 2016. The analyst consensus was $1.37 per share.
The post-earnings rally erased only a portion of the steep losses suffered by shareholders this year. As of market close on Sept. 5, the stock was down about 32% year to date. A strong back-to-school season is certainly a positive, but Shoe Carnival is still facing a tumultuous retail environment that will make comparable sales growth difficult to achieve.