Macy’s Inc. posted second-quarter earnings per share ahead of Wall Street analyst expectations, but the department store giant cut its full-year guidance.

Net income for the period ended Aug. 4 fell to $74 million, or 16 cents a share, from $317 million, or 57 cents, in the prior-year period on flat sales of $5.9 billion. Excluding May Company merger costs, Macy’s said EPS were 29 cents. Analysts had the company pegged to earn 26 cents, according to Yahoo Finance.

The retailer said it now expects full-year earnings of $2.15 to $2.30 a share, down from a prior forecast of $2.45 to $2.60.

“While the second quarter was below our initial expectations, we did see improving sales trends through the quarter in former May Company stores and in home-related merchandise categories,” said Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “We are optimistic that our business can and will improve in the second half of the year, despite what appears to be a more challenging economic environment.”

For complete coverage, see Thursday’s issue of WWD.

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