Federated's ( FD) per-share profit in its first quarter plummeted more than 40% as its sales fell, the department store chain reported Wednesday.

In its quarter ended May 3, Federated earned $46 million, or 24 cents a share. That was down from the first quarter last year, when the company earned $89 million, or 43 cents a share.

Revenue at the Cincinnati-based company fell 4.7% to $3.29 billion.

Despite the drop in revenue and profit, Federated's results beat its prior guidance and Wall Street expectations. The department store chain had previously projected that it would earn between 14 cents and 19 cents a share in the quarter; analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 15 cents a share.

Following the quarter, Federated increased the low end of its projected earnings range for the year. The company now expects to earn between $3.10 and $3.25 per share this fiscal year. The retail chain previously said it would earn at least $3.05 a share for the year.

The company, which operates the Macy's and Bloomingdale's chains, expects to earn between 50 cents and 55 cents per share in its second quarter.