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December Results Prompt Guidance Updates

NEW YORK - For richer or poorer, a handful of retailers revised their fourth quarter and year-end guidance upon reporting their December sales results today.
     Macy's Inc. raised its guidance for sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and full year. Same-store sales now are expected to be up 5.3% to 5.5% in the fourth quarter, compared with previous guidance of 4% to 4.5%. Macy's initial full-year guidance, provided at the beginning of the year, was for same store sales to increase by approximately 3% in fiscal 2011.
     Macy's earnings per share for the full year now are expected to be $2.73 to $2.78, including $1.55 to $1.60 in the fourth quarter. Previously, the retailer expected EPS $1.52 to $1.57 in the fourth quarter and $2.70 to $2.75 for the full year.
     TJX continues to expect fourth quarter EPS of $1.19 to $1.23, but it now expects to take a hit of 3 cents per share from costs related to some store closings in Canada and other onetime items.
     Following Target's softer than-expected holiday season it has lowered fourth quarter expectations to EPS of $1.35 to $1.43. Earlier it had projected EPS of $1.43 to $1.53.
     Also adjusting after a softer sales performance during the first two months of the quarter, JCPenney now anticipates fourth quarter comps will be down slightly compared to last year. Earnings are expected to be in the range of 65 to 70 cents per share due to lower sales and higher markdowns than it had planned.

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