NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Macy's Inc (M) - Get Report are down 0.98% to $65.38 in midday trading Tuesday, one day ahead of the department store's first quarter earnings release before the opening bell on Wednesday.

The company is expected to earn 62 cents per share on revenue of $6.32 billion for the quarter, according to analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

In the same quarter of last year, the retailer earned 60 cents per share, while revenue totaled $6.279 billion.

On Friday, TheStreet's Jim Cramer, Portfolio Manager of the Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio commented on Macy's during his CNBC's Mad Money show.

Cramer expects the company to perform well this time, because CEO Terry Lundgren does not like to disappoint.

However on Monday morning, he said that he prefers big box retailer Target (TGT) - Get Report to Macy's.

"We prefer Target to Macy's for Action Alerts PLUS because of the higher growth prospects and the big turn that we think CEO Brian Cornell is progressing fabulously with," he said.

Head of retail at ITG Investment Research John Tomlinson said in a note that Macy's sales seemed to improve over the second half of the first quarter, and updated the firm's sales and comparable store sales forecasts.

Tomlinson now estimates total revenue in a range of between $6.316 billion to $6.442 billion for the first quarter.

ITG expects first quarter comparable store sales growth of 2.4%.

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Macy's is an omni-channel retail company operating stores and Internet websites under the brands Macy's and Bloomingdale's.

Insight from TheStreet's Research Team:

Michael Khouw commented on Macy's in a recent post on ActionAlertsOPTIONS.com. During the most recent weekly roundup, this is what Khouw had to say about the stock: 

What to Watch: M is the bellwether for the large retailer space and has one of the more advanced mobile apps in the sector. While it is expected to slightly beat on earnings, sales growth is a concern. Last Tuesday, M announced the first four pilot stores that its new off-price business Macy's Backstage will open during fall 2015 in metro New York. Prices will often range between 20% and 80% off original and comparable prices for similar merchandise.

-Michael Khouw, 'Weekly Roundup' originally published 5/11/2015 on ActionAlertsOPTIONS.com.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates MACY'S INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MACY'S INC (M) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: M Ratings Report