Brown Shoe Post Fourth Quarter Loss

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On March 4, 2009, Brown Shoe Company ( BWS) reported that it swung to a net loss in Q4 FY08, weighed down by charges related to layoffs and impairment of goodwill and intangible assets. Net loss stood at $153.05 million or $3.68 per share compared to a profit of $13.95 million or $0.33 per share in Q4 FY07. Excluding one-time charges, the company earned $11.51 million or $0.28 per share. The latest quarterly consensus estimate was a loss of $0.37 per share.

Revenue fell 8.8% to $521.00 million from $571.44 million in Q4 FY07, hurt by declining same-store sales. Looking at the company's businesses, Famous Footwear store sales marginally increased to $312.30 million from $310.70 million on the back of new store additions, partially offset by a 3.6% drop in its same-store sales and increased promotional activity to maintain market share. However, Specialty Retail store sales slipped 5.9% to $66.00 million, hurt by a 5.1% decline in Shoes.com net sales and a 0.3% slump in same-store sales. Moreover, the Wholesale Division's sales plunged 25.1% to $142.70 million, as its retail partners decreased their open-to-buy levels owing to reduced consumer spending.

The company opened four new Famous Footwear stores and closed four others, resulting in 1,138 stores open at the end of the quarter. Additionally, it opened five new Specialty Retail stores and closed four others, resulting in 287 open stores in North America at the end of Q4 FY08.

The company recently declared a quarterly dividend of $0.07 per share, payable April 1, 2009.

For FY08, BWS swung to a net loss of $133.24 million or $3.21 per share from a profit of $60.43 million or $1.37 per share a year ago, while revenue fell 3.5% to $2.28 billion from $2.36 billion in FY07.

Looking forward to FY09, BWS expects its revenue to range between $2.20 and $2.30 billion and forecasts a mid-single digit drop in same-store sales. Additionally, the company plans to open 55 new Famous Footwear stores, while closing down 35 existing stores.

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