Feb 24, 2015
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Macy's full-year profit, sales forecasts miss estimates

Feb 24, 2015

Macy's Inc reported a weaker-than-expected rise in sales in the holiday quarter and forecast full-year profit and revenue that fell short of analysts' expectations as it invests in new lower-priced and international stores.

Macy's, which owns the upmarket Bloomingdale's chain as well as its more-affordable namesake stores, is looking to widen its customer base by attracting shoppers hunting for deals and discounts in a highly competitive retail environment.


The company said on Tuesday it would boost spending by 6 percent to $1.2 billion this year, partly to build so-called "off-price" stores that sell items such as seconds, canceled orders and returned goods at lower prices.

Upscale retailer Nordstrom Inc operates such stores under the Nordstrom Rack brand. Sales under the brand rose 17 percent in the latest quarter, while total sales rose 9 percent.

"The off-price sector remains quite well-positioned, given the consumers' admiration of the brand offerings and treasure hunt atmosphere... ", Nomura Equity Research analyst Robert Drbul wrote in a client note.

Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell said improving spending by middle-income shoppers, along with Macy's above-average e-commerce business and small-store expansion, could help drive revenue.

Macy's forecast earnings of $4.70-$4.80 per share for the year ending January 2016, below the average analyst estimate of $4.84, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company said it expected same-store sales growth to accelerate to about 2 percent this year from 0.7 percent last year. But total sales are expected to grow only about 1 percent to $28.39 billion, shy of the average estimate of $28.63 billion.

Macy's said it would open Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in 2018 under license agreements with Al Tayer Group. Al Tayer already operates a Bloomingdale's store in Dubai.

Macy's net income fell 2.2 percent to $793 million in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31. However, earnings-per-share rose to $2.26 from $2.16 due to a lower share count.

Excluding items, Macy's earned $2.44 per share, beating the average estimate of $2.40.

Net sales rose a lower-than-expected 1.8 percent to $9.36 billion.

Macy's shares were down 1 percent at $63.43 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

€1 = $1.13/£0.73

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