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Nordstrom Tops Estimates on Digital Sales Surge

Retailer also sees income tax benefit from CARES act.
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Nordstrom, Inc.  (JWN) posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings  and  revenue helped by a surge in digital sales and an income tax benefit from the CARES Act. 

The high-end retailer reported earnings per share of 21 cents on revenue of $3.65 billion. 

The company had been expected to report earnings of 14 cents a share, on sales of $3.6 billion, based on a FactSet survey of 20 analysts.

In the same period a year ago, the company posted earnings of $1.23 a diluted share on sales of $4.5 billion. 

The stock has risen 54.7% since the company last reported earnings on Nov. 24.

The company said digital sales rose 24% from the same period a year earlier and accounted for 54% of the latest quarter's revenue. The Nordstrom brand saw net sales decrease 19%, while Nordstrom Rack sales decreased 23%.

It said it saw an income tax benefit of $51 million in the quarter which "primarily reflects additional benefit from the impact from the CARES Act," according to a statement. 

“Heading into 2021, we’re taking steps to improve our inventory position,” said Nordstrom CEO Erik Nordstrom in the statement. “As we execute our long-term growth strategy to get closer to our customers than ever before, we’re confident in our ability to unlock the full potential of our digital-first platform to gain market share and drive profitable growth.”

For the fiscal 2021 year, the company forecast revenue growth of more than 25% "with digital representing approximately 50 percent of sales."

Shares of Nordstrom fell 97 cents, or 2.6% in after-hours trading to $36.61. In the regular session the stock fell 1% on a generally down day for Wall Street.