Steve Madden (NASDAQ:SHOO) reported another impressive quarter last week, but does recently reduced guidance suggest the tide is turning for the footwear marketer and retailer?

Results for the quarter were strong, with total sales advancing 23% as sales at company-owned retail stores grew 8.4% on an impressive 10.5% increase in same-store sales and improvement in gross margins. Wholesale results include sales made to department stores such as Macy's, Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), and Dillard's (NYSE:DDS), as well as retailers such as Victoria's Secret, owned by Limited Brands (NYSE:LTD), and grew a robust 29% for the quarter.

Bottom-line results were not too shabby, either, as operating income grew an outstanding 143% and net income also more than doubled to $0.57 per diluted share. Better yet, management announced the payment of a $1 special one-time dividend to shareholders.

Unfortunately, the company reduced 2007 earnings guidance, which sent investors heading for the exits the day of the release. But the shares have still more than doubled over the past year. Is this a good time to buy in?

It's hard to tell at this point. With the reduced guidance, the shares still trade at 18 times next year's earnings. Steve Madden usually generates robust levels of cash, flow and the company has had a decent run of sales and earnings growth, but the footwear industry is a tough one to compete in. The space is crowded with many competitors, including Wolverine World Wide (NASDAQ:WWW), Skechers (NYSE:SKX), and Timberland (NYSE:TBL). Additionally, shoe sales are subject to the whims of fickle, fashion-conscious consumers; a popular product one day can lose its momentum the next and be shunned.

I have to commend companies like Steve Madden for staying at the fashion forefront, but it's hard to recommend these stocks to long-term oriented investors, as it's just too hard to tell when the next fashion faux pas will hit, bringing positive stock returns to a screeching halt. Recently reduced guidance at the company could signal the first signs of a change in its fortunes.

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Fool contributor Ryan Fuhrmann has no financial interest in any company mentioned. . Feel free to email him with feedback or to discuss any companies mentioned further. The Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.