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Nordstrom Raises Guidance

Third-quarter EPS top analysts' forecast by a penny.


(JWN) - Get Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN) Report

said its third-quarter earnings rose 26%, aided by fewer markdowns and strong sales of women's apparel, and the specialty retailer boosted its full-year profit projection.

The Seattle-based company on Monday reported net income of $135.7 million, or 52 cents a share, up from $107.5 million, or 39 cents a share, a year ago. The earnings per share beat analysts' mean estimate by a penny, according to Thomson First Call.

Sales increased to $1.87 billion from $1.67 billion, while same-store sales jumped 10.7%. Analysts, on average, predicted revenue of $1.8 billion.

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Nordstrom attributed the earnings jump to the improved execution of its merchandising strategy, helped by lower markdowns.

Nordstrom's said all major merchandise categories performed above the company's low-single-digit same-store sales growth plan, with particularly strong results in intimate apparel, accessories, and women's better and designer apparel.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, the company expects low-single-digit same-store sales growth and earnings of 79 cents to 84 cents a share. Wall Street predicts earnings of 82 cents a share.

For the full fiscal year ending in February, Nordstrom now sees earnings of $2.46 to $2.51 a share, up from an earlier forecast of $2.31 to 2.39. Analysts are calling for earnings of $2.47 a share.

Nordstrom said its board recently approved the company's budget for capital expenditures for the 2007 through 2011 fiscal years. The total amount planned is for $2.8 billion over the five years, with about 80% of the capital allocated to new stores, store relocations and store remodels.