Federated Department Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FD)(PCX:FD) today provided preliminary earnings guidance for fiscal 2003, which will be further refined with the conclusion of fiscal 2002 and when year-end earnings are released on February 25.
In summary, Federated is forecasting both sales and earnings per share (EPS) to be essentially flat in 2003 compared to 2002. The company said that free cash flow will continue to be significant, however, providing numerous options for returning value to shareholders.
While ranges on sales and earnings will be more useful after year- end closing, preliminary guidance is as follows:
***Please See Press Release for Financial Tables***
Federated also has budgeted capital expenditures at $650 million for 2003.
The one-time costs estimate of $45 million, together with the estimate of $70 million in one-time costs in fiscal 2002 (total of $115 million) are associated with the consolidation of Rich's- Macy's stores in Atlanta, as well as other miscellaneous closings.
A separate news release dealing with the consolidation of Rich's- Macy's stores in the Atlanta market also was issued this morning and is available on the Federated website.
There will be a conference call with analysts beginning at 2 p.m. ET today to discuss the company's fiscal 2003 guidance. A live webcast of this call can be accessed through the Federated website at www.fds.com. Pre-registration is requested. The webcast also will be archived for replay beginning approximately two hours after the conclusion of the live call.
Federated, with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation's leading department store retailers, with annual sales in excess of $15 billion. Federated currently operates more than 460 stores in 34 states, Guam and Puerto Rico, under the names of Macy's, Bloomingdale's, The Bon Marche, Burdines, Goldsmith's, Lazarus and Rich's-Macy's, as well as macys.com and Bloomingdale's By Mail.
(NOTE: This release contains certain forward-looking statements that reflect current views of the financial performance and future events of Federated. The words "expect," "plan," "think," "believe" and other similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. Future results of the operations of Federated could differ materially from historical results or current expectations because of a variety of factors that affect the company, including transaction costs associated with the renovation, conversion and transitioning of company retail stores in regional markets; the outcome and timing of sales and leasing in conjunction with the disposition of company retail store properties; the retention, reintegration and transitioning of displaced company employees; competitive pressures from department and specialty stores, general merchandise stores, manufacturers' outlets, off-price and discount stores, and all other retail channels; and general consumer-spending levels, including the impact of the availability and level of consumer debt, and the effects of weather.)
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