Earnings Fall at May Department Stores - TheStreet

May Department Stores

(MAY)

on Thursday reported that a revenue downturn in its fourth fiscal quarter led to a corresponding earnings decline.

For the quarter ended Feb. 1, the company earned $387 million, or $1.26 per share, on $4.4 billion in revenue. In the same period a year ago, May earned $431 million, or $1.36 per share, on $4.6 billion in sales.

Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call were expected May to earn $1.20 per share on $4.7 billion in revenue.

For its fiscal year, May earned $542 million, or $1.76 per share, on $13.5 billion in revenue. In fiscal 2001, the company, which operates theFoley's, Lord & Taylor and David's Bridal chains, earned $703 million, or $2.21 a share, on $13.9 billion in sales.

"This was a disappointing year for us and we are not satisfied with our sales or earnings results," said company Chief Executive Officer Gene Kahn,in a statement.

During the quarter May saw a deterioration not only in its overall sales, but in its cost structure as well. The company's gross profit margin shrank from 33.8% of sales in the year-ago quarter to 32.6% of sales in the just-completed quarter. Meanwhile, its marketing and administrative expenses increased from $763 million, or 16.7% of sales, a year ago, to $766 million, or 17.5% of sales, in the just completed quarter.

The company did not hold a conference call with investors and did not release guidance for its first quarter or full-year 2003 results.