Shoe Carnival (SCVL) is out with earnings. Below are the highlights:

Third Quarter Financial Results

The Company reported net sales of $287.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2017, a 4.7 percent increase, compared to net sales of $274.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2016. Comparable store sales increased 4.4 percent in the third quarter of fiscal 2017.

Gross profit margin for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 decreased 0.1 percent to 29.8 percent compared to 29.9 percent in the third quarter of fiscal 2016. Merchandise margin decreased 0.8 percent and was partially offset by buying, distribution and occupancy expenses, which decreased 0.7 percent as a percentage of net sales compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2016.

Selling, general and administrative expenses (“SG&A”) for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 increased $1.2 million to $67.8 million. As a percentage of net sales, these expenses improved 0.7 percent to 23.6 percent compared to 24.3 percent in the third quarter of fiscal 2016.

Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 was $10.7 million, or $0.66 per diluted share. For the third quarter of fiscal 2016, the Company reported net income of $9.7 million, or $0.54 per diluted share.

Nine Month Financial Results

Net sales during the first nine months of fiscal 2017 increased $9.0 million to $775.9 million compared to the same period last year. Comparable store sales for the thirty-nine week period ended October 28, 2017, increased 0.4 percent.

Net earnings for the first nine months of fiscal 2017 were $22.8 million, or $1.38 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $24.4 million, or $1.31 per diluted share, in the first nine months of fiscal 2016. The gross profit margin for the first nine months of fiscal 2017 was 29.1 percent compared to 29.3 percent in the same period last year. SG&A for the first nine months increased $3.1 million to $188.5 million. As a percentage of net sales, these expenses increased to 24.3 percent compared to 24.2 percent in the first nine months of fiscal 2016. The Company opened 19 stores and closed ten stores during the first nine months of fiscal 2017 compared to 15 store openings and five store closings in the first nine months of fiscal 2016.

Store Openings and Closings

The Company expects to open 19 stores and close 26 stores during fiscal 2017 compared to opening 19 stores and closing nine stores during fiscal 2016.

Cliff Sifford, Shoe Carnival’s President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “We are very pleased with our third quarter financial results, which reflect the strength of our selection of family footwear for the back-to-school season and our team’s ability to increasingly connect with customers across Shoe Carnival’s multi-channel presence. During the quarter, our traffic was down low single digits, particularly due to the three hurricanes affecting TexasFloridaand Puerto Rico. Despite the inclement weather in these regions, we experienced solid increases in both units per transaction and conversion which helped drive a 4.4 percent increase in comparable store sales for the quarter. These increases, combined with our ongoing commitment and ability to effectively manage expenses, resulted in a 22 percent year-over-year increase in quarterly earnings per diluted share. Based on our third quarter performance and our outlook for the remainder of the year, we are pleased to raise our fiscal year outlook.”

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