Nordstrom Stumbles In Third Quarter

Nordstrom posted net earnings for the third quarter, ended October 31, of $81 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, versus $142 million, or 73 cents per diluted share in the period a year earlier. Comparable store sales fell for Nordstrom full-line department stores and Rack outlet stores but results in the e-commerce operation helped cushion the financial blow.

A reduction in earnings before interest and taxes of approximately $46 million related to a credit card transaction hit the bottom line as did the company’s Trunk Club acquisition and entry into Canada, which represented an incremental reduction to earnings before interest and taxes of $20 million year over year, Nordstrom maintained. Earnings before interest and taxes fell to $155 million from $262 million in last year’s first quarter.

Zacks Investment Research observed that Nordstrom adjusted earnings per share, which the market research firm put at 57 cents, came in significantly below its 71 cents per share analyst average estimate.

Nordstrom comparable store sales for the namesake division increased 0.3%, but that figure includes sales from full-line department stores and nordstrom.com. Department store comps slipped 2.2% taken alone. In the meantime, Nordstrom Rack comps also slipped 2.2%, the company reported.

Company net sales increased to $3.24 billion from $3.04 billion, while total revenues, including credit card results, were $3.33 billion versus $3.14 billion in last year’s third quarter, Nordstrom noted. Department store net sales fell by 1.9% while Nordstrom Rack net sales increased 8.4%. Nordstrom.com net sales gained 11%, and nordstromrack.com/hautelook net sales advanced 39%.

So far, in the current fiscal year, Nordstrom added five full-line stores, relocated one department store, and debuted 27 Rack locations. Nordstrom operates 323 stores in 39 states, including 121 full-line stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and 194 Nordstrom Rack stores. 

On October 1, Nordstrom also sold its credit card portfolio to TD Bank U.S.A.