DSW Inc easily beat analysts' consensus estimates and year-ago earnings during the third quarter, according to figures released late Wednesday (29 November).

In the three months ended 28 October, the Columbus, Ohio-based footwear retailer posted net income of US$16m, or 36 cents a diluted share, 46.7% above year-ago profits of $10.9m, or 25 cents. On average, analysts expected earnings per share of 27 cents in the most recent quarter.

Sales were up 9.9%, to $332.2m from $302.2m, and rose 2.6% on a same-store basis.

The strong showing prompted DSW to increase full-year EPS estimates to a range of $1.35 to $1.38m, 11 cents above earlier projections. Same-store sales are expected to be up 1% to 3% for the full year, when a total of 29 stores will have been opened. Same-store sales in the first nine months of the year were ahead 3%.

Year-to-date earnings were up 80% to $48.9m, or $1.11 a diluted share, from $27.1m, or 77 cents. Sales so far this year are ahead 11.6% to $950m from $860.3m.

Costs associated with the company's initial public offering in June 2005 and a data theft announced three months earlier subtracted 2 cents a share in earnings for the 2005 year-to-date period, effectively increasing the growth in net income for the 2006 period.

DSW currently operates 220 stores in 35 states and supplies footwear for 258 leased locations.
By Arnold J Karr.