Macy’s beats sales estimates, but stands by cautious full-year forecast as shoppers watch their dollars

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Macy’s store in Herald Square in New York.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Macy’s on Tuesday topped Wall Street’s quarterly sales expectations, even as it struck a cautious note about consumer spending for the back half of the year. 

The retailer stood by its conservative full-year guidance as sales sag. It said it expects comparable owned-plus-licensed sales to fall 6% to 7.5% compared with the prior year. It anticipates adjusted earnings per share will range from $2.70 to $3.20, and sales will be between $22.8 billion and $23.2 billion for the fiscal year.

The department store operator cut the forecast in early June.

Here’s how the retailer did for the fiscal second quarter that ended July 29 compared with what Wall Street expected, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: 26 cents adjusted vs. 13 cents expected
  • Revenue: $5.13 billion vs. $5.09 billion expected

The company swung to a net loss of $22 million, or 8 cents per share, from a net income of $275 million, or 99 cents per share a year earlier.

Net sales fell from $5.6 billion a year earlier.

As a retailer that sells a lot of clothing and accessories, Macy’s has taken a deeper hit from a consumer pullback than those that sell staples. When the department store operator cut its full-year forecast, it said it had seen sales weaken in the spring, even at its higher-end chains, Bloomingdale’s and beauty chain Bluemercury.

Shares of Macy’s closed Monday at $14.73, bringing the company’s market value to $4.01 billion. It has underperformed the market so far this year, as its stock has fallen 28% as the S&P 500 has climbed nearly 15% during the same period.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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