With perhaps the exception of overhyped Deckers Outdoor (NASDAQ:DECK), stocks of companies that operate in the shoe industry invariably fall victim to fickle consumer-fashion trends. Steve Madden (NASDAQ:SHOO) is proving no exception, and investors may want to consider taking advantage of the negativity.

Steve Madden shares have still more than doubled since April 2006, but they trade more than 40% lower than levels reached last October, when the company was riding the crest of a favorable fashion wave. Unfortunately, the ride proved short-lived when investors got wind that 2007 was quickly becoming more of an uphill battle.

That hill recently became higher. Though Madden announced second-quarter results today that beat analyst expectations, it tempered guidance and now expects full-year sales to fall 2%-4%, versus a previous projection of 3%-5% positive growth. However, it is sticking with its $2-$2.10 earnings guidance.

The second quarter proved challenging, as the wholesale business, which sells shoes to department stores such as Macy's (NYSE:M), saw weak trends in the Daniel M. Friedman & Associates business and other brands such as Candie's and Steve Madden Men's. Retail sales at company-owned stores also fell, but profitability improved, "primarily due to lower freight expense and reduced markdowns."

The bottom-line result was a 16% fall in quarterly diluted earnings, but Madden ended the quarter with no debt and likely continued to generate strong cash flow -- though we won't know for sure until it files the quarterly 10-Q with the SEC.

As it stands currently, the stock is trading at about 13 times earnings projections for the year, which is definitely reasonable, given Madden's five-year track record of double-digit sales, earnings, and cash flow growth. Usually, the best time to ante up for shoe-brand owners and retailers is when sales are struggling. So while companies such as Madden, Skechers (NYSE:SKX), K-Swiss (NASDAQ:KSWS), and Timberland (NYSE:TBL) are reeling for a number of reasons, they eventually find a way to return to the favorable side of consumer tastes, be it through new product introductions or a fashion shift back to existing brands.

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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.