Macy's Fiscal Year Comp Increase Best in 15 Years

CINCINNATI - Macy's Inc. 4.6% comp increase for the fiscal year was double its original expectations.
     "Since comp-store sales growth is the best proxy for how the customer grades our performance, we are part happy with our performance on that matrix this year," noted cfo Karen Hoguet during 850-unit department store chain's fourth quarter and year-end earnings call.
     "[It] was our best performance in at least 15 years and it also compares favorably to our key competitors," she continued. "At this same time last year, we expected comp store sales growth of between 1 to 2% for 2010, and we obviously far exceeded that that. That delta is important and enabled us to produce higher-than-expected earnings and cash flow."
     Quarterly net income grew 49.8% to $667 million. Sales rose 5.4% to $8.269 billion, with comps up 4.3%.
     Earnings were higher than expected at $1.55 per share.
     For the full fiscal year, net income leapt to $847 million, representing a 157.4% increase over the prior year's $329 million in net income. Due to one-time charges related to store closings, EPS fell to $1.98 compared to $2.11 in the previous year.
     Sales were on the high end of guidance, climbing 6.4% to $25.0 billion.
     Online sales - from macys. com and combined - increased 29.1% in the quarter and 28.7% during the fiscal year. The company noted its online sales positively affected its same-store sales by 1.1 percentage points in the fourth quarter and 0.9 percentage points in the year as a whole. Online sales are included in the same-store sales calculation for Macy's Inc.
     The company is assuming same-store sales growth of approximately 3% the new fiscal year and EPS of $2.25 to $2.30.

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