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Macy’s Surpasses Q3 Expectations, Trots Martha Out For Q4

Macy’s, Inc. reported earnings of 36 cents per diluted share for the third quarter ended October 27 versus 32 cents per diluted share in last year’s third quarter. Net income increased to $145 million from $139 million in the year earlier while operating income was up 5.4% to $325 million.

Third quarter sales totaled $6.08 billion, up 3.8% from the year-ago period. Comparable store sales increased 3.7% year over year. Online sales at and combined gained 40.4% in the quarter compared with the same period in 2011. Online sales raised the company’s comps by 2.2 percentage points, according to the retailer.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Macy’s to report earnings per share of 29 cents on $6.08 billion in sales.

“We were pleased to deliver sales and earnings growth for the 11th consecutive quarter,” said Terry Lundgren, Macy’s chairman, president and CEO. “Our success in the third quarter reflected a combination of factors, as has been the case over the past several years. We continue to implement our My Macy’s localization, omnichannel integration and enhanced customer engagement strategies with increasing precision, passion and success. This has helped us to deepen our relationship with customers and capture market share. We have confidence in our ability to continue to grow sales and earnings in the fourth quarter, even taking into account a recovery from Hurricane Sandy that will cause stress to consumers and our employees in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Throughout the holiday season, we will be offering our customers new and fresh merchandise assortments, great value and an engaging shopping environment at both Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, in store, online and via mobile devices. We are providing more reasons than ever for customers to shop us first and buy from Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, especially for memorable gifts for family and friends.”

In addition to earnings, Macy’s has announced that it will discontinue reporting monthly sales beginning in fiscal 2013, a practice it said is consistent with that of most other retailers. Walmart stopped reporting monthlies just about three years ago, and Kohl’s announced it would do the same just days ago.

Macy’s also just released information about its holiday advertising campaign.

Based on the movie “Miracle on 34th Street,” the new phase in its advertising campaign uses special effects to incorporate actor Edmund Gwenn, in his 1947 movie performance as Kris Kringle with fictional new Macy’s Herald Square store manager Harold and Macy’s brand partners including Martha Stewart, Justin Bieber, Tommy Hilfiger, Marcus Samuelsson, Carlos Santana and Taylor Swift. The Harold marketing effort is central to the retailer’s end-of-year promotional effort.