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.
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