Nordstrom Bid Higher on 2Q Beat, Retail Data

Shares of Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) climbed more than 4% Friday morning amid enthusiasm for the high-end department stores earnings beat and new government data showing U.S. retail sales increased in July despite increased economic and market turbulence.

Reporting after Thursdays closing bell, the Seattle-based retailer said it earned $175 million, or 80 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $146 million, or 66 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had called for EPS of 75 cents.

Total revenues received a 12% bump to $2.81 billion. Same-store sales climbed 7.3% and gross margins expanded to 38.7% from 37.8%.

In a show of confidence despite, Nordstrom upped its 2011 financial outlook. The company now sees 2011 EPS of $2.95 to $3.10 on a 4% to 6% rise in same-store sales. Analysts had been calling for EPS of $3.05 on $10.36 billion in revenue.

Separately, the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales grew by 0.5% in July, matching consensus estimates from economists. Excluding volatile auto sales, retail sales also gained 0.5%, easily exceeding expectations for a rise of just 0.3%.

Wall Street bid Nordstroms stock solidly higher in Fridays premarkets. Nordstrom was recently up 4.42% to $44.20, outpacing a 0.68% gain on the S&P 500 futures. Coming into the day, the stock was flat on the year, but down more than 15% over the past month.