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Mar 10, 2010
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Collective Brands posts narrower-than-expected fourth quarter loss

Mar 10, 2010

Collective Brands Airwalk

March 9 (Reuters) - Footwear retailer Collective Brands Inc (PSS.N) posted a narrower-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, helped by strong gross margins.

Collective Brands, which is the holding company of Payless ShoeSource, Stride Rite and Collective Licensing International, said gross margin rate rose 4.7 percentage points helped by lower product costs, markdowns and distribution expenses.

For the quarter, the company reported net loss of $10.9 million, or 17 cents a share, down from a net loss of $144 million, or $2.28 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it posted a loss of 19 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue at Collective Brands, which bought shoe maker Stride Rite last year, rose marginally to $741.7 million.

Analysts were looking for a loss 26 cents a share, on revenue of $724.7 million.

On Monday 8 March, the company said its Payless ShoeSource chain, which offers fashionable, private and branded-label footwear and accessory products for men, women, and children will, launch a new line of beauty products in September.

Collective Brands forecast a 14 percent jump in its 2010 capital expenditure budget to $100 million.

Shares of the Topeka, Kansas-based company, closed at $23.99 Tuesday 9 March on the New York Stock Exchange.

For the alerts, double-click (Reporting by Shradhha Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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