Is This the Comeback Macy’s Has Been Striving For?

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Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) released its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Tuesday. The retailer posted $2.73 in earnings per share (EPS) and $8.46 billion in revenue, which compare with consensus estimates that called for $2.53 in EPS on revenue of $8.45 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $2.82 and $8.67 billion in revenue.

During the latest quarter, comparable sales for owned stores was 0.4% and for owned-plus-licensed stores was 0.7%. Comparable sales for owned-plus-licensed stores in the 53rd-week-shifted calendar totaled 2.0%.

Asset sale gains for the fourth quarter totaled $278 million pretax, or $204 million after-tax, and $0.65 per diluted share. This compares to the fourth quarter of 2017, when asset sale gains totaled $368 million pretax, or $230 million after-tax, and $0.75 per diluted share.

Looking ahead to the 2019 full year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $3.05 to $3.25 and comparable sales of owned-plus-licensed stores flat to up 1%. Consensus estimates call for $3.30 in EPS and $24.94 billion in revenue for the year.

Jeff Gennette, Macy’s board chair and chief executive, commented:

Looking at the fourth quarter of 2018, while we delivered positive comparable sales against what was a strong holiday season in 2017, results were lower than our expectations. We experienced another quarter of double-digit growth in digital. We also saw continued improvement in our brick and mortar trends with the Growth50 stores outperforming the fleet.

Shares of Macy’s closed Monday at $24.36, in a 52-week range of $23.95 to $41.99. The stock has a consensus price target of $26.86. Following the announcement, the stock was up about 3% at $25.10 in early trading indications Tuesday.

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