Nordstrom Beats the Street in 4Q, Plans to Buy Sale Web Site

By RetailFOXBusiness

Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE:JWN) weighed in with a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and gave guidance in-line with expectations on Thursday, but shares fell nearly 2% in after-hours trading as the company announced an acquisition that could negatively impact 2011 earnings.

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For fiscal 2011, the company expects same-store sales to increase between 2% and 4%, with earnings ranging from $2.95 to $3.10 a share. The forecast brackets the Street’s view for earnings of $3.06 cents a share in the new fiscal year.

The high-end department-store chain posted net income that jumped 35% to $232 million, or $1.04 a share, compared with year-ago earnings of $172 million, or 77 cents per share.

Net sales increased 10.9% year-over-year to $2.82 billion, up from $2.54 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. Same-store sales, a key indicator for the retail sector, rose 6.7%, compared with year-ago quarter.

Analysts had predicted earnings of $1.00 per share on revenue of $2.81 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

In a separate release, the company announced its plans to acquire online sale network HauteLook, for $180 million in stock, with some of that stock subject to vesting requirements. The company said it hopes to use this acquisition as a way to enter the “fast-growing private sale marketplace,” the company said.

“We are excited to partner with HauteLook as we believe this acquisition further enhances our focus on serving customers online in new and compelling ways," said Blake Nordstrom, president, Nordstrom Inc, in a statement. "While our focus on providing a superior in-store shopping experience is our roots, continuing to find ways to use technology to serve customers the way they want to be served is critical.”

Nordstrom warned that the transaction would be dilutive to the company in 2011, with non-cash expenses related to the deal impacting earnings.

HauteLook will continue to operate independently, and the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.

Shares of Nordstrom fell 22 cents, or half of a percent, on Thursday during the regular session, closing at $46.48 a share. The stock was down $1.32, or 2.8%, in electronic trading after the market closed.

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