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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N) posted a steep decline in quarterly profit on Thursday that nevertheless met Wall Street's expectations, as the upscale department store chain controlled inventory and expenses to offset languishing sales.
The company raised its profit forecast for the fiscal year based on what it called better-than-expected performance in its second quarter. The quarter included three major sales campaigns, making it Nordstrom's second-largest in terms of net sales.
Nordstrom's net profit fell 26.6 percent to $105 million, or 48 cents per share, in the fiscal second quarter ended August 1, compared with $143 million, or 65 cents per share, a year earlier.
That matched the 48 cents per share expected, on average, by analysts, according to Reuters Estimates.
Sales fell 6.2 percent to percent to $2.14 billion, a touch above the $2.12 billion expected by analysts. But same-store sales, a key measure of sales at stores open at least one year, fell 9.8 percent.
For fiscal 2009, Nordstrom estimated earnings of $1.50 to $1.65 a share, with same-store sales falling by 9 percent to 12 percent.
An earlier forecast called for earnings per share of $1.25 to $1.50. Wall Street had been expecting fiscal 2009 earnings per share of $1.48.
Nordstrom shares fell less than 1 percent to $29.52 after closing up 1 percent at $29.76 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Richard Chang