Sunday, February 21, 2010

Macy's Inc.(NYSE: M): Q4 Earnings Preview 2009

Macy's Inc.(NYSE: M) is scheduled to release its fiscal fourth-quarter 2009 financial results before the market open on Tuesday, February 23, 2010. Analysts, on average, expect the company to report earnings of $1.32 a share on revenue of $7.85 billion. In the year ago period, the company posted earnings of $1.06 per share on revenue of $7.93 billion.

Macy's, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operates department stores in the United States. Its retail stores and Internet Web sites sells a range of merchandise, including men's, women's, and children's apparel and accessories; cosmetics; home furnishings; and other consumer goods. It operated approximately 849 retail stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico under the names Macy's and Bloomingdale's.

In the preceding fiscal-third quarter, the New York-based company posted net loss of$35 million, narrower than the prior-year quarter's loss of $44 million. On a per share basis, loss shrank to $0.08 from $0.10 incurred in the same quarter of last year. Excluding restructuring costs, the latest quarter's loss was $0.03 per share compared to a loss of $0.08 last year. Revenue declined 3.9% to $5.28 billion from $5.49 billion reported in the comparable quarter of the previous year. Analysts, on average, expected the company to report a loss of $0.07 per share on revenue of $5.25 billion for the quarter.

Early in February, the company upped its guidance citing better-than-expected sales, expense management and gross margins, as well as a favorable tax settlement. The company now expects fourth quarter earnings to be $1.35 to $1.37 per share, excluding restructuring-related costs, compared with the previous guidance of $1.14 to $1.18 per share. Included in the new fourth quarter guidance is a non-cash credit resulting from the settlement of the company's federal income tax examinations for fiscal years 2006, 2007, and 2008.

For fiscal 2009, the company now expects earnings to be $1.36 to $1.38 per share, excluding restructuring-related costs, compared with previous guidance of $1.15 to $1.19 per share.

Thanks to the improving consumer spending trend, robust holiday season and economic rebound, the department stores operator has been posting increase in same-store sale. Macy's reported a 3.4% increase in same-store sales for the the four weeks ended Jan. 30, 2010. For December, same-store sales were up 1% while same-store sales for the month of November declined 6.1%.

For the 13-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, Macy's, Inc.'s sales totaled $7.851 billion, down 1.0% from total sales of $7.934 billion in the same quarter of the previous year. On a same-store basis, the company's fourth quarter sales were down 0.8%. Online sales increased 26.6% for the fourth quarter, positively affecting same-store sales by 0.7 percentage points.

In January, Macy's, Inc. said it will close five Macy's stores as part of an ongoing annual process to selectively prune under performing locations while also opening new ones to fill gaps in local markets.In 2009, the company opened five new Macy's stores, reopened two stores in Houston that had been closed from damage by Hurricane Ike in 2008, and opened a new replacement store in Nampa, Idaho. In 2010, Macy's, Inc. currently expects to open new Bloomingdale's stores in Santa Monica, California, and its first international location in Dubai.

Among other development during the quarter, Macy's declared a regular quarterly dividend of 5 cents per share on Macy's common stock, payable April 1, 2010, to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 15, 2010.

The company's stock currently trades at a forward P/E (fye 31-Jan-11) of 11.81 and PEG (5 yr expected) of 1.46. In terms of stock performance, Macy's shares have gained nearly 137% over the past year.

Full Disclosure: None.
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