Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) shares were largely unaffected after the company announced that it lowered its guidance for its fourth fiscal quarter. Shares dropped less than 1 percent on the news. The department store chain blamed effects of Hurricane Sandy for its lower-than-expected sales.
“While the rate of growth was somewhat less than we had expected in the first two months of the fourth quarter, it came amid some significant headwinds from uncertain economic news and the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy,” said CEO Terry Lundgren in a statement.
Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) also reduced its earnings estimate, dropping it from $1.96 per share to $1.91 per share. It also forecast a 3.5 percent increase instead of the 4.2 percent increase it had forecast earlier. The chain reported that same-store sales in December increased 4.1 percent, just a little higher than the expectations of economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M)’s total sales for the month ending Dec. 29 were $4.92 billion, a 3.6 percent increase.
In addition to reducing its guidance for its fourth fiscal quarter, Macy’s also announced its plans to shut down six stores this year. However nine new stores will be built or added this year. One of the largest Macy’s stores to close is the Bloomingdale’s Fashion Show Home Store, which is located in Las Vegas. Texas, Minnesota, Hawaii, Maine and California are also each losing one store. Clearance sales at the stores that will be closing are expected to begin next week and last at least seven weeks before shutting down early in the spring.