Can Macy's Turn Itself Around With Q3 Earnings?

Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) is scheduled to report its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets open on Wednesday. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters call for $0.53 in earnings per share (EPS) on $6.09 billion in revenue. In the same period of the previous year, the retailer posted EPS of $0.61 and $6.20 billion in revenue.

Earlier in the quarter, the company announced plans to hire roughly 85,000 seasonal employees this year at its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores, call centers, distribution centers and online fulfillment centers. Last year, Macy’s hired 86,000 seasonal employees, more than any other retailer in a survey of retail hiring for the 2014 holiday season.

Even though it is modestly below last year’s level, unless 2014’s number two-ranked retailer, Target, raises its hiring by more than 20%, Macy’s will be number one again this year. Target hired 70,000 seasonal employees in 2014, while Kohl’s hired about 67,000 and Wal-Mart hired about 60,000.

Despite weaker quarters earlier in the year, Macy’s expects an improvement in trends beginning in the second half of 2015, based on a range of promising new strategic initiatives, including those initially announced in January, which will transform this company in the years ahead.

Macy’s noted that a big highlight to look forward to in the third-quarter report is the beginning of its e-commerce selling in China in late fall 2015 through a joint venture with Fung Retailing.

Ahead of earnings a few analysts weighed in on Macy’s:

  • Citigroup reiterated a Hold rating.
  • Deutsche Bank reiterated a Hold rating but lowered its price target to $59 from $61.
  • Cowen downgraded Macy’s to Market Perform from Outperform and lowered its target to $52 from $70.
  • Barclays reiterated a Sell rating.

So far in 2015, Macy’s has vastly underperformed the market, with the stock down nearly 30% year to date. However, over the past 52 weeks, the stock is down only 21%.

Shares of Macy’s were trading up 1.1% at $46.78 on Tuesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $58.90 and a 52-week trading range of $45.83 to $73.61.

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