Federated Department Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FD)(PCX:FD) today reported total sales of $1.352 billion for the five weeks ended October 4, 2003. This represents an increase of 3.0 percent compared to total sales of $1.314 billion in the same period last year. On a same-store basis, Federated's September sales were up 3.2 percent, compared to prior forecasts of flat to down 1 percent.
For the year to date, Federated's sales totaled $9.154 billion, down 2.0 percent from total sales of $9.337 billion in the first 35 weeks of 2002. On a same-store basis, Federated's year-to-date sales were down 2.0 percent.
Terry J. Lundgren, Federated's president and chief executive officer, said the company was pleased by the strength of its September sales.
"We were especially encouraged by the strength of apparel sales across the company in September, at least partially reflecting the arrival of fall's cooler temperatures in the eastern half of the country," Lundgren said, adding that "it remains to be seen whether this sales trend is permanent or if it reflects sales taken from October and the fourth quarter."
Lundgren said that based on August and September's stronger-than- anticipated sales, as well as the company's current assumptions for October same-store sales that will be flat to up slightly, "We now anticipate Federated's third quarter earnings to be in the range of 30-33 cents a share, which exceeds our prior third- quarter guidance of 25-30 cents a share." He said the company also is reaffirming its fourth quarter sales and earnings guidance, which foresees sales that are in the range of down 1 percent to up 1 percent and earnings of $2.15 - $2.20 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 $15.4 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, Goldsmith's- Macy's, Lazarus-Macy's and Rich's-Macy's. The company also operates macys.com and Bloomingdale's By Mail.
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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