NEW YORK – Federated Department Stores Inc. on Wednesday reported a 26.8 percent jump in first-quarter income, and a 34 percent gain in diluted earnings per share that beat Wall Street’s expectations by 3 cents.

Federated, the parent of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, said income rose to $123 million, or 71 cents a diluted share, compared with $97 million, or 53 cents, compared with the same time last year. Earnings per share exceeded the retailer’s initial forecast of 45 cents to 50 cents, as well as revised guidance of 65 cents to 70 cents a diluted share. Wall Street’s consensus expectation was 68 cents.

Sales gained 2.5 percent to $3.60 billion from $3.52 billion.

“We obviously were very pleased with the quarter’s results and our above-expectations sales performance, especially since these comparisons are against a strong first quarter last year,” Terry J. Lundgren, Federated’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Federated’s $11 billion acquisition of May Department Stores Co. is expected to be completed in the third quarter.

May on Tuesday reported that net earnings for the first quarter fell 46 percent to $41 million, compared with $76 million in the same period last year. On a per share basis, earnings were 13 cents, versus 24 cents in the same period last year.

— Vicki M. Young

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