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Nordstom Racks Up Sales But Still Comes Up Short In Q1

For the first quarter ended May 4, Nordstrom, Inc. has announced that net earnings were $145 million, or 73 cents per diluted share, versus $149 million, or 70 cents per diluted share, in the period last year. According to the company, comparable store sales increased 2.7% versus last year’s quarter.

A published consensus analyst estimate called for earnings per share of 76 cents.

Full-line department store comparable sales came in flat year-over-year, but Nordstrom Rack locations enjoyed a 0.8% comp gain. Direct sales, including e-commerce, advanced 25% in the first quarter.

With 16 new stores opening, Rack net sales increased $58 million, or 10%, versus last year’s period.

Company-wide net sales were $2.7 billion for the first quarter, an increase of 4.8% compared to the fiscal 2012 period, Nordstrom reported

First quarter performance, the company stated, was consistent with the lower end of its expectations as management of inventory and expenses mitigated the effect of lower than planned sales volume. Nordstrom experienced particularly soft sales trends in seasonal merchandise during the first two months of the quarter, it noted, and, geographically, in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. Northern California and the Southwest were the top-performing regions. Top-performing merchandise segments included cosmetics, women’s apparel and handbags.

The company added that sales trends improved in April.