Federated Department Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FD)(PCX:FD) reported total sales of $1.316 billion for the five weeks ended April 3, 2004, an increase in total sales of 6.8 percent compared to total sales of $1.232 billion in the same period last year. On a same-store basis, Federated's March sales also were up 6.8 percent.
For the year to date, Federated's sales totaled $2.385 billion, up 7.6 percent from total sales of $2.216 billion in the first nine weeks of 2003. On a same-store basis, Federated's year-to-date sales were up 7.7 percent.
Terry J. Lundgren, Federated's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the company was very pleased with the strength of its March sales, reflecting continued strength in career apparel and accessories.
Looking ahead, Lundgren said April's sales are expected to continue strong, resulting in a first quarter same-store sales increase of 6-7 percent. Because of these stronger-than- anticipated sales, Lundgren said Federated is raising its first quarter earnings guidance to 45-48 cents a share on a diluted basis compared to prior guidance of 35-40 cents a share. The company is also raising its annual earnings guidance to $3.90 - $4.00 a diluted share, exclusive of any one-time costs associated with the home store reorganization.
Lundgren said that although same-store sales in the second quarter will begin to be compared to strengthening sales from the prior year, Federated is raising its sales guidance for this year's second quarter to reflect current sales trends. A same-store sales increase of 2-3 percent is now anticipated for the period, up from prior guidance for the second quarter of a 1-1.5 percent. No changes are being made in Federated's guidance of a 1.5-2 percent same-store sales increase for the fall season.
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.
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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