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CALIFORNIA | BRIEFLY: RETAILING

Neiman Marcus Earnings Rise 47%

May 21, 1999| Bloomberg News

Neiman Marcus Group Inc.'s earnings jumped 47% in the fiscal third quarter to $35.2 million, or 72 cents a share, but fell short of the average estimate of 74 cents a share from analysts polled by First Call Corp. The high-priced department-store retailer said revenue rose 11.6% to $611.8 billion, led by sales at its namesake stores. Sales at stores open at least a year rose 6.3%. The retailer said it kept control on inventory during the quarter, and gross margins widened to 35% from 32.7%. Chestnut, Mass.-based Neiman Marcus is 54% owned by Harcourt General Inc., a publisher of educational books. Harcourt said Monday, though, it would spin off much of its stake as it moves to simplify its business. Neiman Marcus fell 31 cents to close at $30.13 on the NYSE.

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