Updated from 9:44 a.m. ET
May Department Stores
, which operates
Lord & Taylor
among other chains, reported that its third-quarter earnings fell 28% as the company slashed prices to clear spring and summer items from its inventory.
Still, the company beat Wall Street consensus estimates by 3 cents.
May, based in St. Louis, reported third-quarter profits of 27 cents a share on net earnings of $85 million. This compares with $138 million in net earnings, or 38 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.
"As previously announced, May moved aggressively this quarter to clear excess spring and summer apparel," the company said in a statement. "The clearance of that inventory is complete and the company is well positioned for the fourth quarter."
Wall Street analysts expected the company to earn 24 cents a share in the third quarter, according to market research firm
First Call/Thomson Financial
Third-quarter sales were $3.33 billion, a 5% increase from $3.17 billion in sales in last year's third quarter. Sales in comparable stores -- those shops open at least a year -- declined 0.1% for the quarter.
Through the first nine months of the year, May opened 21 of 23 planned stores for the year.
May finished Monday regular trading up 63 cents, or 1% at $46.56.