Payless ShoeSource Inc.(NYSE: PSS), the largest U.S. shoe-store chain, said first-quarter profit rose 8 percent to beat analysts estimates, citing higher sales of women's footwear.

Net income increased 8.1 percent to $38.9 million, or 59 cents a share, compared with $36 million, or 53 cents, a year earlier. Revenue increased 4.9 percent to $729 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial predicted earnings of 58 cents and revenue of $723.6 million.

Customers continued to respond to our on-trend and differentiated products, demonstrating the resilience of our business during the quarter, said Matthew Rubel, Chief Executive Officer and President.

Sales at stores open at least a year rose 5 percent, the ninth straight quarterly gain.

Earlier this month the Topeka, Kansas-based company, agreed to buy Stride Rite Corp. for $800 million. The deal will give it Keds, Saucony and other major shoe brands.

Shares of Payless rose $1.22, or 3.5 percent to $35.93 in afternoon.