Federated Department Stores

(FD)

said Tuesday its fourth-quarter profits fell below the company's expectations, although earnings per share beat the Street's expectations by a nickel.

The upscale department store retailer, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, said fourth-quarter earnings, excluding asset impairment and restructuring charges, were $332 million, or $2.15 a share, down from $448 million, or $2.04 a share, in the same period last year. According to

First Call/Thomson Financial

, 18 analysts expected fourth-quarter earnings of $2.10 a share.

Revenue for the 14 weeks ended Feb. 3, 2001 was $6.12 billion, compared with $5.97 billion in the comparable 13-week period ended Jan. 29, 2000.

Looking ahead, the company reiterated its previous projections of $4 to $4.25 for full-year 2001 earnings per share, even though "2001 will not be an easy year." Analysts on average see 2001 earnings of $3.03 a share, compared with 2000 earnings of $3.08 a share, which the company reported today.

Earlier this month, Federated announced higher-than-expected January same-store sales of 3.7%, but unveiled plans to close its New Jersey-based

Stern's

department store division and convert 19 of the 24 stores to

Macy's

and

Bloomingdale's

.

Shares of Federated finished at $45.71 in Monday trading on the

New York Stock Exchange

. The shares have a 52-week range of $21.00 and $47.10.