Shoe Carnival stock rises despite drop in earnings

The Evansville-based Shoe Carnival reported a drop in earnings and comparable-store sales Thursday, but it Wall Street rewarded the company for a performance that beat analysts' estimates, by bumping up the company stock to $13.82 late in the day.

Shares of other footwear companies, including  Indiana- based Finish Line also rose yesterday. Shoe Carnival reported that its fourth- quarter earnings dropped 78 percent due to lower sales and higher costs. Earnings dropped to $1.1 million, or 9 cents per share, from

$5.1 million, or 37 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue dropped 7 percent to $164.3 million, from $177.2 million in the prior-year period.

Higher costs were attributed in part to the fact that Shoe Carnival was operating 20 more stores in the 2007 fourth quarter than a year earlier. The company also reported a non-cash impairment charge for closing some older stores.