(Corrects next to last paragraph to say that Macy's expects
same store sales for the fiscal year to range between down 1
percent to up 1.5 percent. The error also appeared in Update
(Adds byline, analyst and company comment, updates stock)
By Nicole Maestri
NEW YORK May 14 Macy's Inc (M.N) reported a
quarterly loss on Wednesday, hurt by restructuring costs and
falling sales, but the department store operator stood by its
full-year earnings forecast, and its shares rose 7 percent.
"Given the very difficult economic environment, our company
performed relatively well compared to the competition in the
first quarter," Chairman Terry Lundgren said in a statement.
He added: "Earnings per share are on track to deliver the
annual guidance provided at the outset of the year."
The company, which operates its namesake and Bloomingdale's
chains, said it lost $59 million, or 14 cents a share, in its
fiscal first quarter, ended May 3, compared with a profit of
$36 million, or 8 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding restructuring costs of 13 cents per share and a
reserve of 3 cents per share for a potential litigation
settlement, Macy's earned 2 cents per share from continuing
operations. On that basis, analysts on average expected a loss
of 2 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
RESTRUCTURING TO IMPROVE SALES
Macy's, which no longer provides monthly sales updates, is
consolidating several regional divisions to cut costs and focus
on improving sales at its existing stores.
But it is restructuring its operations at the same time
U.S. shoppers have become hesitant with their spending, pulling
back on trips to the mall and purchases of clothes, jewelry and
furniture as gas prices soar and home values sink.
Macy's said sales fell 3 percent to $5.75 billion from
$5.92 billion. Sales at its stores open at least a year, a key
retail gauge known as same-store sales, fell 2.6 percent.
Liz Dunn, a retail analyst with Thomas Weisel Partners,
said Macy's same-store sales decline was less severe than those
at competitors like Kohl's Corp (KSS.N), J.C. Penney Co Inc
(JCP.N) and Nordstrom (JWN.N).
"Macy's seems to be performing better than others relative
to last year in its own stores," she wrote in a research note.
Lundgren said Macy's appears "to be capturing market share
even in this period of weak consumer spending."
The retailer backed its profit forecast of $1.85 to $2.15 a
share for 2008, excluding one-time costs. It also said it still
expects same-store sales for its fiscal year to range between
down 1 percent to up 1.5 percent.
Shares rose $1.69 to $25.75 in early New York Stock
(Reporting by Nicole Maestri; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and