Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Macy’s posts sort-of profit


macys.jpgCheck out Macy’s profit, or loss, depending on how you count.
The department store operator posted a $59 million loss in the first quarter, hurt by a drop in sales and the costs of restructuring.
So of course its stocks jumped.
Restructuring charges are seen by the investment community as “one-time items” and are generally disregarded when looking at how well a company did in any given quarter. 
So without ”one-time items” Macy’s posted a profit of 2 cents a share from continuing operations. That was better than the 2-cents-a-share loss that analysts expected.
Macy’s also affirmed its forecast for a profit of $1.85 to $2.15 a share for the year, possibly a sign that things at least are not getting worse for the company, which, like most department store operators, has been hurt by the slumping U.S. economy.
Of course, that forecast excludes “one-time” items.
Also in the basket:
Barney’s Socol quits, no clear successor (WWD)
Benetton Q1 profit, sales up, outlook confirmed

(Photo: Reuters)

Retail rout as Penney warns


sweep.jpgJC Penney surprised the retail sector on Friday with its warning that first-quarter earnings could be as much as 38 percent below its initial forecasts, and it said it expects the difficult environment to persist throughout 2008.

The warning came the same day that the Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers showed that U.S. consumers’ confidence weakened to the lowest in 16 years in March, pointing to recession.