Macy's reports higher profit, raises forecast


Macy's Inc on Wednesday reported a higher third-quarter profit, helped by sales gains, and raised its full-year profit outlook despite powerful storm Sandy disrupting the lives of shoppers and sales associates in northeastern and mid-Atlantic states.

Macy's reported net income of $145 million, or 36 cents a share, for the quarter ended Oct. 27, up 4.3 percent from $139 million, or 32 cents a share, a year earlier.

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That was 7 cents better than analyst forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Macy's gross margin rose 0.2 points to 39.6 percent of sales.

But Macy's, which also owns the upscale Bloomingdale's chain, raised its full-year profit per share outlook by only 5 cents and now expects to earn between $3.35 and $3.40.

Nearly one quarter of Macy's Inc's stores suffered a disruption last week when Superstorm Sandy hit. Macy's said last week, when it reported October sales, that it expected to make up any lost business.

On Wednesday, Macy's Chief Executive Terry Lundgren said he was confident about sales and profit growth in the holiday quarter despite Sandy.

Macy's shares edged up 0.8 percent to $41.70 in premarket trading.

Third-quarter sales rose 3.8 percent to $6.08 billion. Sales at stores open at least a year, a key industry metric known as same-store sales, rose 3.7 percent. Online sales accounted for 2.2 points of that gain.

For the holiday quarter, when Macy's expects same-store sales to rise 4.2 percent, Macy's expects to earn $1.94 a share to $1.99 a share.

Macy's also announced that as of next year, it would stop reporting monthly sales, joining Kohl's Corp, Saks Inc and J.C. Penney Co Inc among department store chains also deciding this year to abandon the practice.

The company has been investing in the opening of distribution centers to fuel its online growth and technology to make it easier to use mobile devices to shop inside stores. It is also in the early stages of a $400 million renovation of its Manhattan flagship.