May 26, 2010
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Brown Shoe beats forecasts

May 26, 2010

(Reuters) - Brown Shoe Co Inc's (BWS.N) first-quarter results beat Wall Street expectations, boosted by strong performance of its Famous Footwear and Naturalizer brands, and the footwear retailer raised its sales forecast for 2010.

Brown Shoes - Famous Footwear

"All of our segments generated improved gross margins and operating earnings in the quarter," Chief Executive Ron Fromm said in a statement.

The seller of shoe brands such as Naturalizer, LifeStride and Via Spiga, said it now expects 2010 sales to grow in the high-single to low double-digit range, up from an earlier view of growth in the mid-single digits.

Analysts on average are expecting 2010 sales of $2.38 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For the quarter ended May 1, Brown Shoe swung to a net profit attributable to shareholders of $10.00 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with a loss of $7.6 million, or 18 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Net sales at the St. Louis-based company known for its Famous Footwear stores rose 11 percent to $597.7 million. Comparable-store sales at the company's Famous Footwear stores were up 15.5 percent during the quarter.

Analysts were looking for earnings of 13 cents a share, on revenue of $582.9 million.

Brown Shoe also expects wholesale net sales to grow in the low to mid-teens range for the full year.

Shares of the company, which have nearly tripled in the last one year, closed at $17.20 Wednesday 26 May on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Shradhha Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Prem Udayabhanu)

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