Nordstrom Inc., performing better than several competitors, said first-quarter earnings met expectations, though sales fell short.
The Seattle-based retailer said net earnings for the period ending April 29 rose 37 percent to $63 million, compared to $46 million in the year-ago period. Earnings before interest and taxes was $151 million, or 4.6 percent of net sales, compared to $106 million in the year-ago period.
Total sales came to $3.3 billion for the first quarter, a 2.7 percent increase compared with net sales of $3.2 billion during the year-ago period. Comparable sales for the quarter decreased 0.8 percent.
Earnings per diluted share were 37 cents, including an interest expense charge of $18 million, or 6 cents, related to a $650 million debt refinancing completed in the first quarter of 2017, which was not part of the company’s outlook.
This compares to earnings per diluted share of 26 cents for the year-ago quarter, which included non-operational charges of $30 million, or 10 cents, primarily related to higher credit charge-back expenses associated with an industry change in liability rules.
Excluding non-operational charges of $30 million in 2016 and $18 million of debt refinancing costs in 2017, earnings per diluted share for the first quarter of 2017 increased 19 percent over the same period last year.
Online sales were 24 percent of total net sales, driven by 11 percent growth at nordstrom.com and 19 percent at nordstromrack.com/HauteLook.
At Nordstrom’s full-line stores and nordstrom.com, net sales when combined with Trunk Club, decreased 1.7 percent. Comparable sales decreased 2.8 percent. Top-performing categories were men’s and women’s apparel, and the West was the top-ranking U.S. geographic region.
At Nordstrom Rack, which consists of Nordstrom Rack stores and nordstromrack.com/HauteLook, net sales increased 8.7 percent and comparable sales increased 2.3 percent. The West was the top region.
The company reiterated its annual outlook for earnings per diluted share of $2.75 to $3.00, a net sales increase of 3 to 4 percent and about flat comparable sales.
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