Caleres, Inc. (NYSE:CAL) Q4 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Mar 16, 2017 • 04:45 pm ET

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Caleres, Inc. (NYSE:CAL) Q4 2016 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Operator
operator

Good afternoon. My name is Sarah and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to Fourth Quarter 2016 Caleres Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speaker's remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Thank you.

I'd now like to turn the call over to Ms. Peggy Reilly Tharp. Ms. Reilly Tharp the floor is yours.

Executive
Peggy Reilly Tharp

Thank you, Sarah. Good afternoon. I'm Peggy Reilly Tharp, Vice President of Investor Relations for Caleres, and I'd like to thank you for joining our fourth quarter 2016 earnings call webcast. A press release with detailed financial tables and slides are both available at caleres.com.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statement)

And with that I'd like to turn the call to Diane Sullivan, CEO, President and Chairman.

Executive
Diane Sullivan

Good afternoon and thank you very much for joining today. As always, Ken Hannah, our Chief Financial Officer and Rick Ausick, our President of Famous Footwear are here with us today and are ready to answer any questions. As you saw in our release, we reported fourth quarter adjusted diluted earnings per share of $0.33, an increase of 26.9% over last year. However, there were clearly a lot of moving parts. In addition to the acquisition of Allen Edmonds, we took a deeper look into our brand portfolio business and the opportunities available to us.

As a result, we made some additional changes to better position our company going forward and Ken is going to address all of those items in detail during his financial review. But before that I think it's important to talk through 2016 from an overall strategic point of view, so you can have a complete and thorough perspective before we get into all the puts and takes of our performance and much of the strategic initiatives that we had going on in 2016 are going to continue into 2017.

I'd like to begin by taking a few moments to cover four key areas, where we have focused our time, energy and investments, starting with the continued diversification of our portfolio of brands. For a while now, I've been talking to you about the benefits of our diversified portfolio strategy, because for many years investors would ask us why we operated both retail and wholesale segments. As we wrap up 2016, I think the answer is becoming clearer. Not only is each side of our business contributing equally to our adjusted operating earnings, we're also stronger overall and better able to navigate the new retail landscape together. Thanks to our portfolio strategy which is fundamentally about strong consumer brands.

We have the ability to be more flexible with our resources across our businesses. We continue to strengthen and diversify our portfolio in the fourth quarter, with the acquisition of Allen Edmonds in December. This addition to our brand portfolio had allowed us to rapidly increase our exposure in men's footwear and it's going to provide our