Macy's Inc. shares slipped lower Monday after analysts at Goldman Sachs lowered their rating on the struggling retailer after it slashed its full-year earnings outlook late last month.
Goldman analyst Alexandra Walvis cut her price target by $5, to $12 per share, and lowered her rating on Macy's to sell from neutral, noting what she called "significant additional downside" to the mall-focused retailers' operations that could hamper its ability to cut costs.
"We think the Street continues to underestimate negative operating leverage for Macy's," Walvis said. "We expect secular headwinds to weigh on comps and drive profitability and earnings below consensus. We are increasingly cautious on underlying EBIT contribution from the retail business, where real estate and credit income account for the majority of profitability."
Macy's shares were marked 1.32% lower in early Monday trading to change hands at $14.96 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date decline to around 50%.
Last month, Macy's said its third quarter earnings topped Street forecasts at 7 cents per share, but noted same-store sales declined 3.5%, a slumped that lead it to slash its current-year earnings forecast by around 30 cents to a range of $2.57 to$2.77 per share. Full-year sales will likely fall by 2.5% from last year's $24.971 billion total, compared to the company's prior forecast of a flat 2019.
"Our third quarter sales were impacted by the late arrival of cold weather, continued soft international tourism and weaker than anticipated performance in lower tier malls," CEO Jeff Gennette said at the time. "We also experienced a temporary impact on our e-commerce business due in part to work on the site in preparation for the fourth quarter."
Macy's gloomy fourth quarter outlook was a stark contrast to that of its traditional rival, Nordstrom Inc., which improved its full-year outlook last month as its focus on digital shopping offset a slump in full-price product sales.
Nordstrom said it doesn't expect tariffs on China-made imports to have a material affect on its fiscal 2020 earnings, and nudged the lower end of its prior guidance 5 cents higher to a range of $3.30 to $3.50 per share, while adding 10 basis points to its EBIT margin forecast. Net sales are still expected to fall around 2% from last year, the retailer said, despite coming in at a stronger-than-expected $3.672 billion over the three months ending on November 2.