(Macy's earnings article updated with additional details from the report, analyst commentary and share price.)
NEW YORK (
swung into profit in the fourth quarter, handily topping Wall Street's forecast.
During the quarter, Macy's earned $466 million, or $1.10 a share, compared with a loss of $4.77 billion, or $11.33, for the department stores in the year-ago period.
Last year's results were marred by hefty write-downs that totaled 30 cents a share.
Excluding items, Macy's actually earned $1.40 a share, easily topping analysts' estimates of $1.32 a share. Macy's attributed the better-than-expected profit to its My Macy's localization initiative, which is tailoring products to specific regions, rather than adopting a uniform approach across the U.S.
Macy's sales slipped 1% to $7.85 billion from $7.93 billion, while same-store sales sank 0.8%. However, Macy's online sales soared 26.6% and the company saw a significant rebound in its Bloomingdale's division.
Looking ahead, Macy's predicts same-store sales growth between 1% and 2% for the year, resulting in earnings guidance in the range of $1.55 to $1.60 a share. Analysts are calling for full-year earnings of $1.57 a share.
Shares in Macy's were trading hands prior to the opening bell Tuesday at $18.40, a loss of 7 cents from Monday's closing price.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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