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Mum on Martha, Macy's Says Textiles Solid in Fourth Quarter

CINCINNATI - Macy's Inc. cited textiles as among many categories showing strength during the fourth quarter as it reported results last week.
     Sales, earnings and cash flow for 2011, including the fourth quarter, exceeded expectations, the company reported.
     "We have more than doubled our earnings over the past three years," noted Terry Lundgren, chairman, president and ceo. He described the 2011 holiday season as "terrific."
     Macy's executives did not mention Martha Stewart or her exclusive collection during the approximately 45-minute earnings call. But during the question-and-answer session, an analyst asked cfo Karen Hoguet if it was right to assume that Macy's 3.5% fiscal 2012 comp outlook "has no pick-up from any disruption related to JCPenney."
     The analyst was referring to Macy's suit against Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, filed in late January regarding MSLO's deal to launch products exclusively with JCPenney in 2013.
     In response, Hoguet briefly offered, "Well, we'll have to see how that plays out. Our best assumption right now is the 3.5%, and we'll see."
     Net income for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28 rose 11.7% to $745 million, or $1.70 per share, beating expectations.
     Quarterly sales were up 5.5% to $8.7 billion. Same-store sales increased 5.2%.
     For the full fiscal year, net income jumped 48.3% to $1.256 billion, or $2.92 per share.
     Online sales for macys.com and bloomingdales.com combined were up 40.0% in the fourth quarter and 39.6% for the fiscal year.
     Buoyed by its recent performance, Macy's said it is assuming same-store sales growth of about 3.5% in fiscal 2012, and guidance for earnings per share is $3.25 to $3.30. Capital expenditures for the year are expected to be approximately $850 million.
     The company has announced plans in fiscal 2012 for new Macy's stores in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Greendale, Wisconsin, as well as five new Bloomingdale's Outlet locations.

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