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Federated Hurt By Hurricanes

Federated Department Stores Inc. said a series of hurricanes that battered parts of Florida, closing stores and hampering sales, will take a toll on third fiscal quarter profits, reducing earnings by about 4 to 6 cents a share.

The department store parent of Macy's and Bloomingdale's said Hurricane Jeanne, the most recent storm to tear through the Southeast, will cost the chain about $10 million in lost sales, further reducing September same-store sales 0.7 percent, and reducing profits during the quarter by an additional 1 to 2 cents a share.

The company said that while it is still too early to evaluate the impact of Hurricane Jeanne, it did not believe any of its Burdines-Macy's or Bloomingdale's stores in Florida were seriously damaged.

Together, Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne will cost the company about $30 million in September sales, decreasing same-store sales 2.1 percent. As a result, Federated said it now expects same-store sales “to be down slightly in September.”

Federated is scheduled to report September sales results on Oct. 7, and to report third-quarter sales and earnings Nov. 10.