Payless ShoeSource Earnings Beats Estimates

Footwear chain Payless ShoeSource Inc. (PSS) Thursday posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings due to a rise in sales and favorable pricing, sending it stock up 6.5 percent.

Earnings for the fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 29 rose to $21.9 million, or 32 cents per share, from $6.6 million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding certain items, Reuters Estimates data showed the company earned 33 cents a share, surpassing analysts' average forecast of 26 cents.

The company said the latest results included pretax restructuring charges of about $1.2 million. The year-earlier results included pretax restructuring charges of $3.9 million.

Sales rose 0.8 percent to $666.9 million, compared with Wall Street expectations for $669.7 million. Same-store sales rose 3 percent.

Payless shares were up $1.33 to $21.79 on the New York Stock Exchange, their highest level in more than four years.

The shares are up 78 percent so far this year and trade at 20 times expected 2005 earnings; shares of rival Brown Shoe Co. Inc. are up 18.5 percent and trade at a multiple of 12.