Nordstrom Guides a Little Light, Shares Dive After Hours

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Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) reported fourth quarter and full-year 2012 results after markets closed today. For the quarter, the high-end retailer diluted posted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.40 and $3.7 billion in revenues. EPS for the same period a year ago totaled $1.11, and last year's revenue totaled $3.27 billion. The results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $1.34 and $3.7 billion in revenue.

For the full year, Nordstrom reported diluted EPS of $3.56 on revenues of $12.15 billion, compared with EPS of $3.14 on revenues of $10.5 billion in 2011. The consensus estimate called for EPS of $3.50 on revenues of $12.13 billion.

For the 2013 fiscal year, Nordstrom guided sales at 4.5% to 6.5% higher, with same-store sales projected to rise by 3.5% to 5.5%. Diluted EPS is estimated at $3.65 to $3.80. The consensus estimate calls for EPS of $3.97 on revenues of $13 billion.

Same-store sales (for all stores) rose 6.3% for the fourth quarter and 7.3% for the full year.

Gross margins were essentially flat for the quarter at 38.8% and for the year at 37.8%.

The story here, as much as Nordstrom would like to focus on its full-year results, is that guidance is a shade on the light side and margins are stagnant. The company expects to open its first stores in Canada in 2014 and includes costs of $20 to $25 million to support the move. Even including those costs, though, the high-end of the company's revenues don't quite come up to the analysts' consensus estimate.

Shares are down about 2.8% in after-hours trading, at $54.52. The current 52-week range is $46.27-$58.44. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of $59.60 before today's results were announced.

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