AtmosphereNordstrom Mens Store VIP Party, New York, USA - 10 Apr 2018

Nordstrom Inc. reported a 38 percent rise in net profit in the first quarter ended May 5, triggering a mild lift in the retailer’s earnings outlook for 2018 to $3.35 to $3.55 a share, from the $3.30 to $3.35 previously forecast.

First-quarter net earnings rose to $87 million compared with $63 million during the same period a year ago. Results in 2017 included an interest expense charge of $18 million related to a debt refinancing.

Earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT, were $153 million, or 4.4 percent of net sales, compared with $151 million, or 4.6 percent of net sales, during the same period in fiscal 2017

Earnings per diluted share for the quarter came to 51 cents, compared to 37 cents in the year ago period, which included a debt refinancing charge of 6 cents.

Net sales increased 5.8 percent to $3.7 billion, from $3.3 billion a year ago. Nordstrom did shift a Nordstrom Rewards loyalty event into the first quarter from the second quarter last year. Comparable sales increased 0.6 percent, which was a weak showing compared to Macy’s 4.2 percent comparable gain reported on Wednesday. J.C. Penney on Thursday reported just a 0.5 percent comparable store gain for the first quarter.

After the market closed, Nordstrom stock dropped 6.7 percent or $3.42, to close at $47.49.

Last quarter, Nordstrom opened its first freestanding men’s store, which is on 57th Street and Broadway in New York. The company also expanded its presence in Canada by opening the first three Nordstrom Racks in the Toronto and Calgary markets.

Digital sales increased 18 percent in the first quarter, and digitally enabled sales represented 29 percent of first quarter sales, up from 25 percent a year ago.

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