Strong numbers from Genesco

Q4 beats by 4 cents, February same-store gains reach double digits

Shoe and hat retailer Genesco said it posted a fourth-quarter profit of $30.9 million, up 19 percent from a year ago. Per diluted share, earnings were $1.33, four cents better than what analysts had expected.

Same-store sales rose 9 percent during the quarter, powered by a 12 percent jump at the Journeys division, the company's largest. Total revenues climbed 17 percent to $560 million, but Genesco's cost of sales grew a bit faster, limiting operating profit growth to about 12 percent.

Chairman, president and CEO Bob Dennis said his team's Q4 profit levels were the highest in four years and that February same-store sales rose 10 percent. Dennis did add that he expects that pace to moderate a bit in the rest of Genesco's fiscal first quarter.

"We now have two very strong and differentiated growth vehicles, supported by strong performances from Johnston & Murphy and Licensed Brands, and a solid balance sheet to support our expansion plans," Dennis said. "Looking ahead, we believe that our business model will generate solid cash flow and put us in a position to pursue further growth opportunities."

Shares of Genesco (Ticker: GCO) are trading up almost 3 percent in pre-market action to $42, their highest level since November 2007. Year to date, they've risen about 10 percent.