Macy's ends its third quarter with sales down, but it's up on the holidays

Macy's store sign
Macy's store sign

Macy's (M) closed a losing quarter with an upbeat holiday forecast, saying it will have fresh merchandise for the holidays, but just enough to avoid big markdowns. And it boosted its forecast for the fourth quarter and the full year, based on better-than-expected results.

The department store company posted a net loss of $35 million, or 8 cents per share, a penny more than the analysts' estimate, but an improvement over a $44 million loss for the same period last year. Total sales of $5.28 billion were down 3.9% below last year, and 3.6% lower on a same-store basis.