What happened

Shares of Caleres (CAL 3.54%) were sliding today after the footwear retailer delivered strong results in its first quarter, but offered disappointing guidance for the current quarter.

As of 1:08 p.m. EDT on Friday, shares were down 11.5%.

A woman trying on a pair of shoes in a store

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The parent of Famous Footwear and Allen Edmonds said revenue jumped 60.8% from the pandemic-impacted quarter a year ago to $638.6 million, which easily beat estimates at $573.1 million. First-quarter revenue was 6% below its total from 2019, but the company said that sales at Famous Footwear were up 13% from 2019 levels, showing some evidence of pent-up demand as well as a likely benefit from stimulus checks sent out in March.

Direct-to-consumer sales made up 74.5% of total sales in the quarter, and e-commerce website sales were up 21%.

On the bottom line, adjusted earnings per share came in at $0.60, which was better than the $0.36 it posted in the first quarter of 2019 and much better than analyst estimates at $0.03 as the company improved its gross margin and slashed operating expenses.

CEO Diane Sullivan said, "Caleres had a strong start to the year, maintaining its solid upward momentum in the first quarter of 2021, driven in large part by an outstanding performance in our Famous Footwear business, where we achieved record quarterly earnings and delivered record first quarter sales levels."

Now what

What seemed to sink the stock today was the company's guidance. It called for flat revenue on a sequential basis in the second quarter, at $625 million to $650 million, which was below the consensus at $674.3 million. On the bottom line, management expects adjusted EPS of $0.50 to $0.55, down from the first quarter, which was in line with the consensus $0.54.

After the stock fell nearly 90% during the early phase of the pandemic, Caleres has now regained all of its losses, so today's sell-off may also reflect the fact that the upside to the retail stock is now more limited.