First Quarter Better Than Expected for Macy’s

NEW YORK – Macy’s raised its annual financial outlook Tuesday, despite the fact sales and profits fell during the first quarter as customer pulled back on spending.

Quarterly results announced Tuesday beat Wall Street expectations, and shares were up more than 3% in pre-market trading, according to a report from the Associated Press.

Macy’s reported earnings of $62 million (22 cents per share) for the quarter ended May 4. That compares with $155 million, or 56 cents per share in the year-ago period.

Adjusted per share earnings were 27 cents, much better than the 16 cents that Wall Street was looking for, according to a survey by FactSet.

Revenue dipped 2.7% to $4.85 billion, but that also topped analyst projections of $4.82 billion, the AP reported.

Comparable store sales– those from online channels and from established stores – fell 1.2%, excluding licensed businesses like cosmetics and its third-party marketplace.

Americans are still spending but they’re getting more selective and are also more likely to wait until something goes on sale. Retailers are also seeing higher delinquency rates in their credit card businesses, according to the AP report.

Macy’s said Tuesday that its credit card revenues declined by $45 million to $117 million, in part due to higher delinquency rates.

Macy’s is trying to boost sales by accelerating the expansion of small-format stores, while closing locations where sales have lagged.

Macy’s said that its first 50 traditional locations that have been revamped achieved comparable sales gains of 3.3% in the quarter. The figure excluded licensed and third-party businesses, the AP reported.