Saks Posts $12.3 Loss, Backs Forecast

Saks Inc (NYSE:SKS) reported a narrower than expected second quarter loss on Tuesday, as sales gains defied what the luxury retailer said was a tough economy, and the retailer stuck to its sales forecast for the second half of the fiscal year.

Saks reported a net loss of $12.3 million, or 8 cents per share, for the quarter ended July 28, versus a year-earlier loss of $8.4 million, or 5 cents per share.

Excluding items associated with a new fulfillment center, Saks had a loss of 5 cents per share. Wall Street analysts were expecting a loss of 9 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Saks, which operates 45 department stores and 63 discount outlet Saks Off Fifth stores, said it still expects same-store sales to rise in the mid-single-digit range in the second half of the year despite an "uncertain'' economy.

As previously announced, Saks' second quarter same-store sales rose 4.7%. Total sales were up 5.1% to $704.1 million.

Saks said sales gains at its Fifth Avenue flagship store in Manhattan, which generates about one-fifth of sales, were below those of its other department stores.