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EARNINGS ROUNDUP

Nordstrom cuts forecast for 2008

May 16, 2008|From Times Wire Services

Upscale department store Nordstrom Inc. reported a lower quarterly profit that beat Wall Street estimates.

The company lowered its fiscal 2008 earnings range and said it would cut operating expenses to lessen the effect of lower sales.

First-quarter profit was $119 million, or 54 cents a share, compared with $157 million, or 60 cents, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, had been expecting earnings of 48 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

As previously announced, first-quarter sales fell nearly 4% to $1.88 billion, and sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of retail performance, fell 6.5%.

In recent months, Seattle-based Nordstrom has noted weakness in the women's apparel category and in California, which accounts for nearly one-third of its sales. The retailer has posted declines in same-store sales for the last five months.

Nordstrom now expects fiscal 2008 earnings of $2.65 to $2.80 from an earlier forecast of $2.75 to $2.90.

For the second quarter, Nordstrom expects earnings of 65 cents to 70 cents, based on same-store sales declining 5% to 7%, compared with average analyst expectations of 68 cents.

The company's shares rose about 2% to $38.10 in extended trading after rising $1.15 to $37.29 during the regular session.

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