Retailers, consumers and prices
Several retailers and food companies posted quarterly results, offering different views on where they stand in a recession that has consumers dialing back spending.
Macy’s posted a better-than-expected profit as it cut costs, but the department store operator’s new, higher earnings forecast shows full-year profit could still fall short of analysts’ expectations.
Sara Lee, the maker of baked goods and Jimmy Dean sausage, also reported a stronger-than-expected profit before one-time items on improvements in North America and said it was still considering divesting its international household and personal care business.
Underwear maker Maindenform also saw a profit that topped expectations, thanks largely to strong demand for its shapewear products, and raised its full-year outlook.
Polo Ralph Lauren reported higher second quarter profit, citing increased sales and a lower tax rate.
Polo, whose brands include Polo, Chaps and Club Monaco, affirmed its earnings outlook for fiscal 2009, but it tempered its full-year sales forecast. It now expects a low single-digit increase in 2009 revenue, instead of a low-to-mid single digit increase as earlier expected.