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

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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.

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.

RELATED: Macy's flagship Herald Square store

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Macy's flagship Herald Square store
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Macy's flagship Herald Square store
Pedestrians walk through Herald Square past a Macy's Inc. department store in New York, U.S., on Monday, August 10, 2015. Macy's Inc., the largest U.S. department-store company, is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings before the opening of U.S. financial markets on August 12. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph shows a corner view of the 1924 addition to the Macy's department store building on 34th Street at Herald Square in Manhattan, New York, 1930s. (Photo by FPG/Getty Images)
397655 01: Shoppers make their way across Herald Square near Macy's department store November 23, 2001 in New York City. The Christmas shopping season started kicked off in the United States the day after Thanksgiving, one of the busiest shopping days of the year. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 22: A holiday scene is depicted in a Macy's at Herald Square department store window during the unveiling of the retailer's holiday windows November 22, 2002 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Peyton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 28: The Macy's Herald Square entrance is seen February 28, 2005 in New York City. Federated Department Stores Inc. is buying rival May Department Stores Co. for $11 billion in cash and stock in a deal that would enable them to compete against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. as well as upscale retailers. (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 15: Pedestrians and shoppers pass by the Macy's flagship store at Herald Square in New York, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007. Macy's Inc., the second-largest department-store chain, reported quarterly profit that exceeded analysts' estimates because of reduced advertising and retirement costs. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 15: Pedestrians and shoppers pass by the Macy's flagship store at Herald Square in New York, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007. Macy's Inc., the second-largest department-store chain, reported quarterly profit that exceeded analysts' estimates because of reduced advertising and retirement costs. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 05: The New Year's Eve Ball, which will be seen by millions as it descends above Times Square to ring in 2009, is displayed at the Macy's Store in Herald Square November 5, 2008 in New York City. The Waterford Crystal ball is comprised of 672 crystal triangles and is themed 'Let There Be Light.' (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Shoppers look at shirts at Macy's Herald Square department store in New York, U.S., on Friday, Nov. 27, 2009. Shoppers gathered at Best Buy Co., Target Corp. and Toys 'R' Us Inc. stores from New Jersey to Texas well before midnight yesterday to take advantage of Black Friday deals on televisions, laptops and robot hamsters. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***
Pedestrians walk past Macy's department store at Herald Square in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, April 6, 2010. March sales at U.S. retailers probably jumped almost three times as much as previously anticipated, as the early Easter holiday, warm weather and an improved job market boosted consumer spending. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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