Macy's beats on earnings, says it made $673 million from unloading real estate

Macy's released fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday, beating slightly on sales and earnings.

The retailer posted adjusted earnings of $2.02 per share, higher than the $1.96 per share expected by analysts.

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In addition, comparable sales — or those at stores open longer than a year — fell by 2.1% from the same quarter a year ago, but was a bit better than the 2.2% fall expected by analysts.

The company also released preliminary guidance for 2017, expecting sales to decline by 2% to 3% for the full year at all owned and licensed stores.

"While 2016 was not the year we expected, we made significant progress on key initiatives that are starting to bear fruit," said CEO Terry Lundgren in the company's earnings release.

"These include continued improvement in our digital platforms, the rollout of our new approach to fine jewelry and women's shoes, an increase in exclusive merchandise and the refinement of our clearance and off-price strategy. We also took a big step forward in rightsizing our physical footprint and restructuring our entire organization."

The recent slew of real estate sales for Macy's also generated significant amounts of cash for the company, totaling $673 million for 2016 according to the press release. Lundgren said in the release that the retailer plans to continue on the same path for 2017.

"We are excited by the potential of our real estate strategy, and in 2017, we will focus on advancing the Brookfield partnership and continuing to monetize the locations that we have closed or plan to close," said Lundgren. "We are also developing strategies that will help create value for Herald Square while making the store an even more vibrant retail experience."

Following the news, Macy's stocked popped 2.8% in pre-market trading as of 8:09 a.m. ET to $33.20 a share.

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