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Nordstrom Reports Mixed Q4 Results

Nordstrom reported a mixed fourth quarter, as earnings received a boost from corporate tax reform while net sales decreased.

Fourth quarter net earnings were $248 million compared with $151 million during the same period in fiscal 2017. This increase was primarily due to lower income tax expense associated with corporate tax reform. Earnings per diluted share for the fourth quarter ended February 2 was $1.48.

Net sales decreased 4.7%, or increased 0.1% excluding the 53rd week in 2017 of approximately $220 million. Comparable sales, which were not impacted by the 53rd week, increased 0.1%. In full-price stores, comparable sales decreased 1.6%, primarily driven by softer traffic trends. Off-price sales reflected continued momentum with a comparable sales increase of 4%.

Full year net earnings were $564 million compared with $437 million for fiscal 2017. This increase was primarily due to lower income tax expense associated with corporate tax reform. For fiscal 2018, earnings per diluted share was $3.32, which included a $0.05 favorable income tax benefit related to prior periods and an estimated non-recurring credit-related charge of $0.28.

Net sales for fiscal 2018 increased 2.3%, or 3.8% excluding the 53rd week. Comparable sales increased 1.7%. In full-price stores, comparable sales increased 0.9% for the fiscal year. In off-price, comparable sales increased 3.5%.