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Merger costs May in second quarter

ST. LOUIS -- The May Department Stores Company reported net earnings fell to $52 million for the second quarter, down 48.5 percent from $101 million last year, due largely to $63 million in expenses related to the pending merger with Federated Department Stores.

Roughly $57 million of the $63 million was related to accelerated stock-compensation charges triggered by shareowner approval of the merger.

Net sales for the quarter were $3.45 billion, up 16.6 percent. Comp-store sales decreased 1.6 percent.

“Despite the disappointing store-for-store sales during the 2005 second quarter, May’s inventories are well-positioned going into the fall season,” the company stated. “Overall store-for-store inventories, which exclude Marshall Field’s, at the end of July, are 6 percent below last year.”

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