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Upbeat About Genesco 3Q: Preview

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We expect apparel store operator Genesco Inc (GCO - Free Report) to beat expectations when it reports third quarter 2013 results on November 30.

The company has a strong history of surprises, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a solid double-digit percentage rate in each of the four preceding quarters.

The trailing four-quarter average surprise was 40.4%, which was greatly helped by the 85.2% surprise in the last-reported quarter. This was possible because Genesco did a good job of controlling expenses. Strong same-store sales in the Journeys and Schuh segments also helped. The "back to school" season was delayed however, which should be positive for the October quarter.

Estimate revisions have been minimal in the last 30 days, although we do see some tweaking. As a result, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the October quarter inched up a penny to 34 cents. There were no changes in the fiscal 2013 and 2014 estimates.

We view positively the lack of downward movement in estimates, particularly when reading with the Zacks ESP (Expected Surprise Prediction), which is .75% for the October quarter. A positive ESP generally indicates that the Zacks Consensus Estimate is conservative and there is a good chance of an earnings beat.

Additionally, most of its peers, such as Foot Locker (FL - Free Report) , Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF - Free Report) and American Eagle Outfitters (AEO - Free Report) , recently reported strong numbers, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 16.7%, 47.5% and 5.1%, respectively. Finish Line , another apparel store operator has a Zacks ESP of 0.0%, indicating that it is likely to report in line with expectations.

Genesco and Finish Line currently have a Zacks Rank of #3 (short-term Neutral rating), compared with Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters, which have a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and Foot Locker, which has a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).

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