Federated Department Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FD)(PCX:FD) today reported total sales of $1.349 billion for the five weeks ended October 2, 2004, a decrease in total sales of 0.2 percent compared to total sales of $1.352 billion in the same period last year. On a same-store basis, Federated's September sales were up 0.1 percent.
As previously noted, the company's September sales were negatively impacted by about $30 million as a result of Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, which combined to reduce sales for the month by approximately 2 percent.
For the year to date, Federated's sales totaled $9.460 billion, up 3.3 percent from total sales of $9.154 billion in the first 35 weeks of 2003. On a same-store basis, Federated's year-to-date sales were up 3.4 percent.
Terry J. Lundgren, Federated's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "September sales showed modest improvement relative to August, although not enough to predict a robust October."
He said the company was now anticipating October same-store sales to be up 2 to 3 percent, which would result in relatively flat same-store sales for the third quarter. The hurricanes are estimated to have reduced the third quarter sales by approximately 1 percent. Earnings for the third quarter are expected to be 30 to 32 cents a share, which is within the lower end of the company's prior guidance (35 to 40 cents a share, reduced by the 4 to 6 cents a share impact of the hurricanes).
For the fourth quarter, Federated continues to expect same-store sales to increase 1.5 to 3 percent, with earnings of $2.45 to $2.55 a share.
The company's revised annual earnings guidance, reflecting the impact of the hurricanes on the business, is now $3.65 to 3.75 a share. Prior guidance for the year was $3.70 to $3.80 a share.
Federated, with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation's leading department store retailers, with annual sales of more than $15.2 billion. Federated operates more than 450 stores in 34 states, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Bon-Macy's, Burdines-Macy's, Goldsmith's-Macy's, Lazarus-Macy's and Rich's-Macy's. The company also operates macys.com and Bloomingdale's By Mail.
NOTE: This release contains certain forward-looking statements that reflect current views of the financial performance and other events of Federated. The words "may," "will," "could," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "believe" and other similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. Future results or outcomes could differ materially from current expectations because of a variety of factors that affect the company, including competitive pressures from specialty stores, general merchandise stores, manufacturers' outlets, off-price and discount stores, new and established forms of home shopping (including the Internet, mail-order catalogs and television) and general consumer spending levels, including the impact of the availability and level of consumer debt, the effect of weather and other factors identified in documents filed by the company with the SEC.
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