Cliff Sifford, President and CEO, stated, “We are pleased to report that our unaudited sales and earnings for fiscal 2012 are the highest in the Company’s history. Our 4.5 percent comparable store sales increase for the year was driven by athletic footwear along with men’s and children’s dress and casual footwear. In addition, we accelerated our store growth by opening 31 stores including market entries into Dallas, Texas with 7 stores and Puerto Rico with 4 stores.”
“While we achieved record results for the fiscal year, our fourth quarter sales and earnings fell short of our previous guidance. At the low-end of our guidance issued in mid-January, we anticipated a mid-single digit decline in comparable store sales during the last two weeks of the quarter. Actual results for those two weeks included a decline in comparable store sales of 27 percent for a loss of approximately $7 million in sales against our expectations. This sales decline accounted for the entire shortfall in our earnings guidance for the fourth quarter.”
Mr. Sifford continued, “The decline was primarily in athletic sales, which we believe was a result of colder weather and, more importantly, the delay in income tax refunds. For the past several years, we have brought in our spring athletic receipts earlier to take advantage of the strong demand for athletic footwear in late January and throughout February. Our weakness in sales continued into the early part of February, but rebounded sharply, particularly in athletic footwear, when the income tax refunds started reaching our customers. For the month of February 2013, our comparable store sales increased low single digits.”
Earnings Release and Conference CallOn Monday, April 1, 2013, the Company will release fourth quarter and full year 2012 results. At 4:30 p.m. Eastern time that day, the Company will host a conference call to discuss the fourth quarter results. Participants can listen to the live webcast of the call by visiting Shoe Carnival's Investors webpage at www.shoecarnival.com. While the question-and-answer session will be available to all listeners, questions from the audience will be limited to institutional analysts and investors. A replay of the webcast will be available on the Company’s website beginning approximately two hours after the conclusion of the conference call and will be archived for one year. About Shoe Carnival Shoe Carnival, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest family footwear retailers, offering a broad assortment of moderately priced dress, casual and athletic footwear for men, women and children with emphasis on national and regional name brands. As of March 6, 2013, the Company operates 358 stores in 32 states and Puerto Rico, and offers online shopping at www.shoecarnival.com. Headquartered in Evansville, IN, Shoe Carnival trades on The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC under the symbol SCVL. Shoe Carnival's press releases and annual report are available on the Company's website at www.shoecarnival.com. Non-GAAP Measure The non-GAAP measure shown in this release, adjusted earnings per diluted share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, excludes the $0.03 negative effect to earnings per diluted share resulting from the treatment of undistributed losses under the two-class method related to the $20.4 million special cash dividend paid in December 2012. Reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure to the most directly comparable GAAP measure is included below. This measure is not in accordance with, or an alternative for, GAAP and may be different from non-GAAP measures used by other companies. Management believes that adjusted earnings per diluted share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 is a useful measure of the Company’s performance in the comparative quarterly periods presented, as it allows management and investors to analyze the financial and business trends related to the Company’s results of operations separate from the impact of the special cash dividend.