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Macy’s 4Q profit up 11 pct; misses forecasts

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NEW YORK (AP) — Macy’s Inc. reported an 11 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit, but its results missed Wall Street expectations as a string of winter storms chilled sales in January.

The results, released Tuesday, come on the heels of a solid holiday shopping season the Cincinnati-based retailer, which operates more than 840 Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores. The department-store chain has been a standout among its peers throughout the economic recovery as it has benefited from its moves to tailor merchandise to local markets.

But like other retailers, severe winter storms have caused Macy’s to close stores and also kept shoppers at home. At one time during January, 244 Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores were shut down because of the weather, and business remained sluggish until Valentine’s Day, Macy’s Chairman, President and CEO Terry Lundgren said in a statement.

Macy’s is still sticking with its annual profit and sales forecast, issued earlier last month, on hopes that business will bounce back in the spring.

“Once warm spring weather arrives and our full assortment of fresh spring merchandise is in place, we believe customers will return to a more normalized pattern of shopping,” he said.

The department store chain said it earned $811 million, or $2.16 per share, in the three months that ended Feb. 1. That compares with $730 million, or $1.83 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue slipped 1.6 percent to $9.2 billion.

Analysts were expecting $2.17 per share on revenue of $9.28 billion, according to FactSet.

Revenue at stores open at least a year rose 1.4 percent, below the 2.5 percent increase that Wall Street analysts expected.

For November and December combined, the traditional holiday shopping season, revenue at stores open at least a year rose 4.3 percent. The figure includes sales from departments licensed to third parties.

Macy’s reiterated that revenue at stores opened at least a year for the current year is expected to be up in the range of 2.5 percent to 3 percent. It also stuck with its earnings forecast of $4.40 to $4.50 per share for the year.

Analysts expect $4.45 per share for the current fiscal year, according to FactSet.

Shares slipped 77 cents to $52.29 per share in premarket trading.