Macy's profit tumbles 90 percent in second quarter

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On Wednesday, Macy's Inc. (M) announced that second-quarter earnings fell 90% on softer retail sales and restructuring charges, but raised its earnings forecast for the full year. The retail giant said it expects to earn 70 cents to 80 cents per share in fiscal 2009, up from estimates of 40 to 55 cents a share issued earlier this year.

In the three months ending August 1, Macy's said it earned $7 million, or 2 cents a share, compared to $73 million, or 17 cents a share, one year ago. The Cincinnati, Ohio-based retail giant said total sales, which include stores and online, fell nearly 10 percent in the quarter to $5.2 billion from $5. 7 billion last year. Macy's said same-store sales, those at outlets opened at least a year, fell 9.5%. It noted, however, that online sales at its macys.com and bloomingdales.com sites rose 9.4%.

Excluding restructuring charges of $34 million, or 18 cents per share, Macy's said it earned 20 cents per share, exceeding analyst estimates of 15 cents per share. The chain had previously predicted earnings of 15 to 17 cents per share in the quarter, excluding restructuring costs.

Retailers have struggled to move merchandise amid the current recession as unemployment has risen and consumers focus more on saving than spending. Macy's said it opened no new stores in the second quarter, but has plans to open three stores in the third quarter, including the reopening of one in Houston damaged last year by Hurricane Ike.
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