DSW Inc.’s fourth quarter not as bad as feared, sales show growth

DSW's Chicago State St. location enjoys moderate morning foot traffic.
DSW's Chicago State St. location enjoys moderate morning foot traffic.

By Alison Martin

Despite a steep decline in profit, DSW Inc.’s fourth quarter results beat investor expectations and helped send the company’s share price higher.

In the quarter ended Jan. 30, 2016, The footwear and accessories retailer reported its net income as $11.8 million or 14 cents per diluted share, down dramatically from last year’s $30.8 million or 34 cents per diluted share. Although the net income fell by more than half, the latest quarter’s results beat by a hefty six cents the 8 cents a share analyst had been forecasting.

DSW’s Inc.’s Earnings Per Share, 2015-2016

[field name=”chart”]

The company’s earnings fluctuated over the year. Source: Nasdaq.com (Alison Martin/MEDILL)

Earnings declined even though revenue increased by 5 percent, to $672 million from $640 million. Comparable-store sales –those at stores open at least twelve months — increased by a modest 0.7 percent, down from last year’s 1.8 percent upturn.

Over the course of the fiscal year, the Columbus, Ohio-based retailer opened 40 new stores nationwide and 11 more store in Canada under the name Town Shoes. The company also started the Buy-Online-Pick-Up-in-Store and Buy-Online-Ship-to-Store online policies to better assist online shoppers. As a result, digital demand grew 22 percent over the fiscal year, partly due to increased search engine optimization practices.

At the beginning of March, DSW finalized its acquisition of Ebuys, Inc. Ebuys – an ecommerce seller or off-price footwear in North America, Asia and Europe – is expected to contribute $100 million in sales, officials said.

DSW reported its 2015 fiscal year net income as $136.0 million or $1.54 per diluted share, down from 2014’s net of $153.5 million or $1.69 per diluted share.

DSW’s higher-than-expected earnings per share encouraged investors: In mid-afteroon New York Stock Exchange trading Tuesday, the company’s shares were up 87 cents, or 3.2 percent, at $28.36.

For the 2016 fiscal year, DSW officials said the company now expects earnings of $1.54 to $1.64. Analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance have been expecting earnings of $1.40 to $1.70. Revenue growth is expected to be between 8 and 10 percent. Comparable sales growth is expected in the 1-2 percent range. The company also plans to open another 34 stores and close two.

“In 2016,” Chief Executive Officer Roger Rawlins said, “we will move decisively to improve our execution, intensify our focus on delivering value to our customers and drive additional growth by entering new categories, markets and digital channels.”

DSW’s Chicago State St. location enjoys moderate morning foot traffic. (Alison Martin/MEDILL)