Relax, those of you who are long on Brown Shoe (NYSE:BWS): That title isn't meant to scare you or to suggest there's anything wrong with the company behind Famous Footwear or Naturalizer. Rather, it's a reflection that yours truly missed the boat and has been left behind paddling his dinghy in the wake.

I'm not sure whether it was the unusually warm weather this winter, good merchandising, good marketing, or some combination of all of them, but Brown Shoe had a great quarter.

Sales were up about 26% as reported, and though that gaudy number was inflated by the contribution of the Bennett acquisition, the organic growth rate of about 11% was still very good. Although the gross margin actually slipped a bit, expense control was pretty good, and the company saw great operating leverage. That, in turn, allowed the company to essentially double its earnings (on an adjusted basis).

It looks to this Fool as though there was good news pretty much across the board. Famous Footwear saw same-store sales growth of 4.4% and experienced positive results in all categories. Combine that good sales performance (up 8% overall) with good marketing and inventory management, and you get better than 34% growth in operating earnings. The wholesale business was also quite strong, with sales up more than 12% organically and strong growth in operating income.

Comparing these results with those at Payless (NYSE:PSS), Brown Shoe is certainly doing something right -- it posted meaningfully better same-store sales growth and margins. And while some shoemakers have been cautious with their outlooks recently -- including athletic-footwear giant Nike (NYSE:NKE) and casual-footwear company K-Swiss (NASDAQ:KSWS) -- it seems as though Brown Shoe's value-priced everyday-footwear market is doing just fine.

Maybe it'll sound like sour grapes, but the shares don't look too cheap anymore. Sure, the company gave encouraging guidance, and business is on the right track, but it looks to me as though the Street is on to all of that. Then again, I've been hoping in vain that I'd get a second crack at these shares. So I certainly wouldn't be in any hurry to sell this stock out of my portfolio if I held it today.

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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).