Macy's said earnings for the three months ending in January came in at $2.72 each, down 3.5% from the same period last year but well ahead of the consensus forecast of $2.53 per share. Group revenues, Macy's said, slipped 2.5% to $8.455 billion, nudging just ahead of analysts' estimates of $8.44 billion.
looking into 2019, Macy's said it sees diluted earnings in the region of $3.05 to $3.55 per share, a 30% jump from last year at the upper end but just below the $3.30 per share forecast. Same-store sales could rise by as much as 1%, a modest improvement from previous guidance, Macy's indicated.
"Macy's is heading into 2019 a stronger business than we were a year ago - with healthier stores, a growing e-commerce business and a mobile experience that is resonating with our customers. We are executing a balanced investment strategy that supports all three of these components, with investment directed towards areas we know have the highest returns," said CEO Jeff Gennette. "We are also a more agile and flexible organization. The steps we are announcing to further streamline our management structure will allow us to move faster, reduce costs and be more responsive to changing customer expectations."
"Importantly, these changes build the foundation we need to achieve meaningful enterprise productivity improvements," he added. "These actions impact colleagues who have made strong contributions to the company over the years, and I thank them for their service."
Macy's shares were marked 1% higher following the earnings release and changing hands at $24.61 each, a move that would still leave the stocks with a 24.4% decline over the past three months.
Macy's also said it had launched a "comprehensive, multi-year program focused on growing its profitability rate by improving productivity across the enterprise" that it expects will generate $100 million in annual savings.
"As an initial step in this productivity plan, the company has announced a restructuring that reduces the complexity of the upper management structure to increase the speed of decision making, reduce costs and respond to changing customer expectations," Macy's said.