US footwear retailer Shoe Carnival has lowered its fourth-quarter earnings guidance, blaming unseasonably warm weather early in the period.

The company, which operates 352 stores, expects net sales to range from $212 to $214m during the 14 weeks to 2 February, compared to earlier guidance of $215-220m.

The group also forecasts earnings per diluted share for the quarter between $0.20 and $0.22, against earlier expectations of $0.19-0.23.

Meanwhile, Shoe Carnival expects full-year net sales to range from $861 to $863m, while earnings per diluted share are forecast to be between $1.48 to $1.50. This compares to previous guidance of $864-869m and $1.47-1.51.

President and CEO Cliff Sifford said: "Although comparable store sales were below our expectations, the combination of higher than expected margins and expenses that were tightly controlled helped us generate earnings in line with our previous guidance of $0.19 to $0.23.

"Even though sales improved throughout the fourth quarter, we were not able to completely offset the decreases early in the quarter that were driven by unseasonable warm weather."

"Looking forward to the new fiscal year, we are still on track with our plans to open an additional 30 to 35 stores.

"Our 2013 strategy is to backfill existing markets and open in smaller, new markets where we can have immediate brand awareness and leverage our marketing efforts. Our team is focused on driving organic growth and generating increased cash flow to enhance shareholder value long-term."

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Shoe Carnival Provides Updated Financial Guidance

EVANSVILLE, Ind.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 14, 2013-- Shoe Carnival, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCVL) a leading retailer of value-priced footwear and accessories, today announced updated sales and earnings guidance for the 14-week fourth quarter ended February 2, 2013. The Company does not plan to provide preliminary financial information in the future other than in unique circumstances, or in the event of a material event that requires disclosure.

The Company expects fourth quarter net sales to be in the range of $212 to $214 million with a comparable store sales increase of approximately 1.0 percent. Earnings per diluted share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 are expected to be in the range of $0.20 to $0.22. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, comparable store sales decreased 3.0 percent and the Company earned $0.16 per diluted share.

For fiscal 2012, the Company expects net sales to be in the range of $861 to $863 million and comparable store sales to increase approximately 4.5 percent. Earnings per diluted share for fiscal 2012 are expected to be in the range of $1.48 to $1.50. This would be the highest annual earnings per diluted share in the Company’s history and represents a 13.0 to 14.5 percent increase over last year’s earnings per diluted share. For fiscal 2011, comparable store sales increased 0.7 percent and earnings per diluted share were $1.31.

Speaking on the results for the quarter, Cliff Sifford, President and CEO, said, “Although comparable store sales were below our expectations, the combination of higher than expected margins and expenses that were tightly controlled helped us generate earnings inline with our previous guidance of$0.19 to $0.23. Even though sales improved throughout the fourth quarter, we were not able to completely offset the decreases early in the quarter that were driven by unseasonable warm weather.”

Mr. Sifford continued, “Looking forward to the new fiscal year, we are still on track with our plans to open an additional 30 to 35 stores. Our 2013 strategy is to backfill existing markets and open in smaller, new markets where we can have immediate brand awareness and leverage our marketing efforts. Our team is focused on driving organic growth and generating increased cash flow to enhance shareholder value long-term.”

About Shoe Carnival

Shoe Carnival, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest family footwear retailers, offering a broad assortment of moderately priced dress, casual and athletic footwear for men, women and children with emphasis on national and regional name brands. As of January 14, 2013, the Company operates 352 stores in 32 states and Puerto Rico, and offers online shopping at www.shoecarnival.com. Headquartered in Evansville, IN, Shoe Carnival trades on The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC under the symbol SCVL. Shoe Carnival’s press releases and annual report are available on the Company’s website atwww.shoecarnival.com.

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