Macy's Earnings Set Up a Comeback in 2016

Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) reported its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Tuesday. The company said it had $2.09 in earnings per share (EPS) on $8.87 billion in revenue, which compares to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates of $1.89 in EPS on revenue of $8.83 billion. In the same period of the previous year, the retailer posted EPS of $2.44 and $9.36 billion in revenue.

In terms of guidance in for the coming fiscal year, the company expects EPS in the range of $3.80 to $3.90 on a total sales decline of about 2%. Comparable sales are expected to decline by roughly 1% as well. Consensus estimates call for $3.83 in EPS on $26.47 billion in revenue.

In fiscal 2015, Macy’s repurchased about 34.8 million shares of its common stock for roughly $2.0 billion. At the end of January, the company had remaining $500 million remaining in its repurchase.

Recently the company announced licensed department arrangements with companies including LensCrafters, Men’s Wearhouse and Best Buy to add new categories to the Macy’s store assortment. At the same time, Macy’s also completed the acquisition of Bluemercury, which added capabilities to its signature beauty business.

Terry J. Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Macy’s, commented on earnings:

While 2015 was challenging, our sales trend improved in January as the weather turned colder in northern climate zones and Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s were well-stocked in coats, boots, sweaters, gloves, hats and other seasonal goods. As the year ended, our inventories were in good shape (up by 0.7 percent on a comp basis). We are encouraged by the way the business responded going into 2016, and we believe we are well positioned to stabilize sales levels this year as we lay the foundation for enhanced shareholder value and sustained, long-term profitable growth. Given our determination to rise above our disappointing 2015 performance, I have reminded my team that our setback last year is a setup for our comeback.

On the books, the company had cash and cash equivalents that totaled $1.11 billion at the end of the fourth-quarter, compared to $2.25 billion at the end of the same period from the last year.

Shares of Macy’s closed Monday down 2.1% at $41.06, with a consensus analyst price target of $43.30 and a 52-week trading range of $34.05 to $73.61. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was up 6.3% at $43.65 in early trading indications Tuesday.