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On Jun 19, 2013, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Brown Shoe Co. Inc. (BWS - Snapshot Report) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Shares of this footwear retailer have amassed a year-to-date return of roughly 13%.

Why the Upgrade?

Brown Shoe has been witnessing rising earnings estimates on the back of better-than-expected first-quarter fiscal 2013 bottom-line results. The impressive results were attributable to consumer-oriented strategies, portfolio realignment initiatives, product innovation, and cost containment efforts.

Brown Shoe posted quarterly earnings of 32 cents a share on May 29, sweeping past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 22 cents and jumping 39.1% from last year. Including the latest quarter, the company has outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in 5 consecutive quarters by an average of 147.4%.

The strong results prompted management to provide an upbeat outlook for fiscal 2013. Brown Shoe now anticipates earnings between $1.22 and $1.29 per share, up from $1.18 to $1.25 forecasted earlier.

However, total sales of $588.7 million fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $612 million, and dropped 1.6% year over year due to decline in the Wholesale Operations (down 6.8%) and Specialty Retail (down 2.5%) segments, partially mitigated by sales improvement at the Famous Footwear segment (up 1.5%). Adjusted operating income grew 8.5% to $26.1 million, whereas operating margin expanded 40 basis points to 4.4%.

Following the results, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2013 increased 6.5% to $1.31 and for 2014 it jumped by 5.6% to $1.50 per share, in the last 30 days.

Other Stocks to Consider

Apart from Brown Shoe, there are other stocks with a favorable Zacks Rank, which are capable of continuing with their upbeat performances. These include Flowers Foods, Inc. (FLO - Snapshot Report), B&G Foods Inc. (BGS - Snapshot Report) and Omega Protein Corp. , all of which hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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