Macy's Inc. (M) reported a smaller third-quarter loss as the department store operator benefited from tight inventory controls and a move to localize merchandise by region, leading it to raise its full-year outlook.
The outlook, however, didn't go as high as analysts expected, and shares fell 76 cents, or 3.9 percent, to $18.67 in premarket trading.
Some of the company's best-performing districts in the quarter were the original test beds for the locally tailored merchandise. Other bright spots were a strong sales performance at Bloomingdale's and strong growth in its Internet business.
The department store operator, based in Cincinnati, said Wednesday that it lost $35 million, or 8 cents per share, in the quarter ended Oct. 31. That compares with $44 million, or 10 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding costs to consolidate several divisions and roll out the localization plan, Macy's lost 3 cents per share.
Macy's reported that overall revenues fell almost 4 percent to $5.28 billion. Sales at stores opened at least a year were down 7.5 percent in the quarter. That barometer is considered a key indicator of a retailer's health.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecast a loss of 7 cents on revenue of $5.25 billion.
The company said that it now expects earnings for its fiscal year to be in the range of $1.01 to $1.06 per share. That's up from previous guidance issued in August of 70 cents to 80 cents per share. The forecas t excludes restructuring charges. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecast $1.11 per share.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
Small Cap Investing
Learn now to invest in small companies the right way.View Course »