Macy’s Rises on Solid Earnings

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Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) reported its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday. The company said that it had $0.46 in earnings per share (EPS) and $5.63 billion in revenue, versus consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $0.41 in EPS and revenue of $5.65 billion. In the same period of last year, the retailer posted EPS of $0.56 and $5.87 billion in revenue.

Comparable sales on an owned-plus-licensed basis were down by 2.7% in the third quarter. On an owned basis, third-quarter comparable sales declined by 3.3%. The difference between the year-over-year change in total and comparable sales largely resulted from the closing of 41 underperforming Macy’s stores at the end of fiscal 2015.

In terms of guidance for 2016, the company expects to have EPS in the range of $3.15 to $3.40 and comparable sales to decrease between 2.5% and 3.0% (down from the previous guidance of −3% to −4%). The consensus estimates call for $3.35 in EPS and $25.93 billion in revenue for the full year.

In the third quarter of 2016, the company resumed its stock buyback program and repurchased approximately 3 million shares of its common stock for a total of approximately $108 million. The remaining repurchase authorization is up to roughly $1.8 billion of common stock.

On the books, Macy’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $457 million at the end of the quarter, compared to $1.11 billion at the end of the previous fiscal year.

Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s board chair and chief executive, commented:

The trends we saw in the third quarter give us confidence that we can deliver our expectations for the fourth quarter and our guidance for fiscal 2016. Our third quarter top line results were better than the first half of the year and our sales-driving initiatives continue to gain traction. Additionally, the strengthening trend across the apparel businesses, coupled with new initiatives like tech watches from Apple, Michael Kors and others, are good indicators for an improved performance in the fourth quarter.

Shares of Macy’s traded up about 6% to $40.73 Thursday morning. The consensus analyst price target is $41.90, and the 52-week trading range is $29.94 to $45.50.

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