Genesco tops Q1 expectations

Same-store sales slip 4%

Genesco reported first-quarter profits of $18.4 million, a drop of about 10 percent from a year ago. Per diluted share, adjusted earnings came in at 94 cents, beating analysts' expectations by 9 cents.

Sales at Nashville-based Genesco totaled $591 million for the quarter, down from $600 million last year. Same-store sales fell 4 percent from early 2012, with only the Johnson & Murphy division posting positive numbers. The company's largest unit, Journeys, posted operating profits of $23.6 million versus $25.3 million a year ago as sales slipped slightly.

"After a slow start in February, which we attribute primarily to delayed processing of federal income tax refunds, comparable sales improved for the balance of the quarter, despite continued headwinds from unseasonably cold weather," said Chairman, President and CEO Bob Dennis. "The improved sales trends we experienced during the March-April period have accelerated during the second quarter so far with May comparable sales up 1% through May 25. We are encouraged by the recent momentum and optimistic about our prospects for the upcoming back to school season."

Dennis and his team also reiterated their 2014 earnings guidance. Investors, though, gave the report a collective shoulder shrug. At about 1 p.m., shares of Genesco (Ticker: GCO) were off slightly to about $68.50.