Nordstrom Comp Sales Miss But Off-Price Brand Nordstrom Rack Surges – Investor's Business Daily

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XAutoplay: On | Off Nordstrom (JWN) beat first-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts late Thursday but weak same-store sales came amid an exodus from retail stocks following grim results from Macy’s (M).

Estimates: Earnings per share up 4% to 27 cents, with revenue inching up 3% to $3.343 billion and same-store sales coming in flat.

Results: Adjusted EPS of 43 cents on revenue of $3.354 billion. Same-store sales fell 0.8%. Sales at off-price Nordstrom Rack jumped 8.7% with comps up 2.3%. For the main Nordstrom brand, sales fell 1.7% with comps down 2.8%.

Outlook: Management backed its full-year EPS outlook of $2.75 to $3.00 vs. consensus views for $2.92, on a net sales increase of 3%-4%, in line with Wall Street views for 3.5% growth, and approximately flat comparable sales.

Stock: Nordstrom dropped 5% late. Shares closed down 7.6% at 46.21 on the stock market today, after paring earlier losses and finding support at their 50-day moving average. Macy’s sank 17% to its lowest level in nearly six years. Kohl’s (KSS), which also reported today, dropped 7.8%.

J.C. Penney (JCP), which reports Friday, lost 7.4%, and Sears Holdings (SHLD) tumbled 9.6%.

Even as Nordstrom deals with what has been described as its weakest brick-and-mortar traffic since the 1970s, some analysts have been more upbeat about the upscale chain’s prospects.

“The company owns the best house on a bad block,” analysts at Gordon Haskett wrote.

Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell — while still cautious on the company — noted in a retail earnings preview dated Tuesday that Nordstrom depended less on the discounting that other retailers have resorted to in their rush to clear shelves. Discounting can draw customers, but it means less money for retailers.

He also noted the company’s unique product lines, its appeal to higher-end customers and the number of ways it has to attract them. That includes the company’s e-commerce efforts, which other analysts say are more developed than rivals, and its off-price Nordstrom Rack division.

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