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Nordstrom delivers mixed second quarter

Nordstrom's second-quarter profit easily beat Street estimates, but its sales weakened amid a "challenging" start to the quarter.

Net earnings totaled $141, or $0. 90 cents a share, in the quarter ended Aug. 3, compared with $162 million, or $0.95 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected earnings per share of $0.77. Nordstrom credited its strong earnings performance to inventory and expense discipline. The company said inventory was down 6.5% over the last year.

“We delivered strong bottom-line results, demonstrating our inventory and expense discipline,” said Erik Nordstrom, co-president, Nordstrom. “We exited the quarter in a favorable inventory position and made important strides in productivity. We’re focused on driving our top-line, and while this can take time, we are confident in our ability to manage through cycles.”

Sales fell to $3.8 billion, compared with $4 billion a year ago. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected GAAP earnings of 77 cents a share on sales of $3.9 billion.

Total company net sales decreased 5.1% to $3.87 billion. Sales in Nordstrom’s full-price segment fell 6.5%. Off-price net sales were down 1.9%.

The retailer noted that while its bottom-line exceeded expectations, sales were around the low end of its expected range.

“This reflected a challenging start to the quarter as well as softer performance for the anniversary sale and off-price business,” the company stated.

Nordstrom will open its Manhattan flagship on Oct. 24, and two small-format Nordstrom Local stores in September. The flagship is the largest single-project investment in the company’s history, according to CNBC

The company revised its full-year 2019 expectations. It now expects sales to fall 2%, compared with a previous forecast of sales between flat and down 2%. Earnings per share are estimated between $3.25 and $3.50, versus a previous expectation of between $3.25 and $3.65.
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