Macy’s, Inc., exceeded profit expectations for Q4 and forecast an improvement in same-store sales this year. Macy’s reported net income of $466 million, or $1.10 a share, for the fourth quarter ended on Jan. 30, compared with a year-earlier loss of $4.77 billion, or $11.33 a share. Excluding one-time items, it earned $1.40 a share, beating the $1.37 expected on average by Wall Street analysts.
Revenue dipped 1.1% to $7.85 billion. Comp stores slid 0.8%, but that was better than the company’s forecast decline of 1% to 2%.
The company attributed the profit to cost cuts, the success of its My Macy’s program where it stocks merchandise based on local tastes, a nearly 27% increase in online sales, and a significant rebound at Bloomingdale’s stores.
For the current fiscal year, Macy’s is expecting same-store sales to rise 1% to 2%. It forecast earnings of $1.55 to $1.60 a share, while analysts are expecting $1.57.
Sears Holdings Corp., parent of Sears and Kmart, reported a surge in fourth quarter profit, reflecting improved gross margins and the absence of last year’s costs related to store closings and severance. For the fourth quarter, Sears net income attributable to shareholders increased to $430 million or $3.74 per share, from $190 million or $1.55 per share in the previous year.
Revenues declined year-on-year, but exceeded analysts expectations, as comparable store sales at Kmart grew 1.7%. Revenues for the recent quarter marginally decreased to $13.25 billion from $13.28 billion in the same quarter last year. According to the company, the decrease in revenues were mainly due to lower comparable store sales and 62 fewer Kmart and Sears full-line stores.
Nordstrom, Inc. reported earnings more than doubled in the fourth quarter to $172 million, or 77 cents per diluted share, from $68 million, or 31 cents a year ago. Fourth quarter same-store sales increased 6.9% compared with the fourth quarter in fiscal 2008. Net sales in the fourth quarter were $2.54 billion, an increase of 10.3% against $2.30 billion a year ago.
Full-line same-store sales in the fourth quarter increased 3.9% and sales for Nordstrom Direct increased 32.1%, combining for a multi-channel same-store sales increase of 7.1% compared with the same period in fiscal 2008.
Nordstrom Rack experienced an increase of 4.6% in same-store sales in the fourth quarter compared with the same period in fiscal 2008.
For the fiscal year ended January 30, net earnings were $441 million, an increase of 10% compared with net earnings of $401 million for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2008. Earnings per diluted share for the same periods were $2.01 and $1.83, respectively.
Full year same-store sales decreased 4.2% compared with fiscal 2008. Net sales dipped 0.2% to $8.26 billion for the year, compared with prior-year net sales of $8.27 billion.
Target Corporation reported net earnings of $936 million, or $1.24 per share, for the quarter ended January 30, compared with $609 million, or 81 cents per share, in the prior-year quarter. On a full year basis, earnings per share were $3.30, a 15.2% increase from $2.86 in 2008.
Retail segment results increased 3.7% in the fourth quarter to $19.7 billion in 2009 from $19.0 billion in Q4 2008, due to a 0.6% increase in comparable-store sales. Retail segment earnings before interest expense and income taxes (EBIT) were $1.56 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009, an increase of 24.7% from $1.25 billion in 2008.
For fiscal 2009, sales increased 0.9% to $63.4 billion from $62.9 billion in 2008, due to the contribution from new stores, partially offset by a 2.5% decline in comparable store sales. Full year retail segment EBIT increased 7.3% to $4.4 billion in 2009 from $4.1 billion in 2008.
The TJX Companies, Inc., reported sales for the 13-week fourth quarter ended January 30 were $5.9 billion, a 10% increase over the 14-week prior-year period. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 12% over the prior year on a 13-week comparable basis. Net income from continuing operations was $395 million, and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were 94 cents compared with 58 cents in the prior year period.
Net sales for the 52-week fiscal year were $20.3 billion, a 7% increase over the 53-week prior-year fiscal period. Consolidated comparable store sales increased 6% on a 52-week comparable basis. Net income from continuing operations for the 52-week fiscal year was $1.2 billion, and diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $2.84 compared with $2.08 in the prior year.
For the fourth quarter, the retailer’s consolidated pretax profit margin from continuing operations was 10.7%, up 3.3 percentage points over the prior year.
The gross profit margin for the fourth quarter was 26.6%, a 4.1 percentage point increase over the prior year. The improvement was driven by very strong merchandise margins combined with buying and occupancy expense leverage.
Kohl’s, Inc. reported net income for the fourth quarter increased 28% to $431 million, or $1.40 per share, compared to $336 million, or $1.10, in the prior-year period. Sales were $5.7 billion, an increase of 8.5% for the quarter. Comparable store sales increased 4.5% in the quarter.
For the year, net income was $991 million, or $3.23 per diluted share, compared to $885 million, or $2.89 per diluted share, for fiscal 2008. Net sales increased 4.8% to $17.2 billion. Comparable store sales increased 0.4%.
KSS issued its initial guidance for fiscal 2010, forecasting that, based on assumptions of a total sales increase of 4% to 6% and a comparable store sales increase of 1% to 3% for both the quarter and year, diluted EPS should be in the range of 48 cents to 52 cents for the first quarter and between $3.40 and $3.63 for the year.