Feb 25 (Reuters) - Steven Madden Ltd's (SHOO.O) fourth-quarter profit topped market expectations, as the shoe maker saw margins improve due to higher initial mark-ups and fewer store close-outs, and forecast 2010 earnings above estimates.
The company, whose lines include flagship brand Steve Madden, Stevies, and Candies, reported net income of $13.6 million, or 73 cents a share, up from the $7.2 million, or 40 cents a share, it had reported last year.
Revenue at the Long Island City, New York-based company came in at $139.5 million compared to $119.1 million in the year-ago quarter.
Analysts were looking for earnings of 66 cents a share, on revenue of $128.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Steve Madden said gross margins improved to 44.1 percent from 40.4 percent, with improvement in both the wholesale and retail divisions.
Shares of the company closed at $41.56 Wednesday 24 February on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)