May 17, 2013
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Nordstrom lowers sales forecast as first quarter sales miss

May 17, 2013

Nordstrom Inc on Thursday reported lower-than-expected sales and profit for the first quarter, citing weak business in early winter, and lowered its full-year sales forecast, sending shares down 3.9 percent in after-hours trading.

The luxury retailer reported that comparable sales rose 2.7 percent, below the 4.9 percent increase analysts were expecting, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Overall sales rose 4.8 percent to $2.66 billion.

Nordstrom, which also operates the Rack chain of low-priced stores, said net income for the fiscal first quarter ended May 4 fell to $145 million, or 73 cents a share, from $149 million, or 70 cents per share a year earlier. That was 3 cents below expectations.

For the fiscal year, which began Feb. 3, Nordstrom still expects a profit of $3.65 to $3.80 per share. But it lowered its same-store sales estimate for the year by half a percentage point on each end to a rise of 3 to 5 percent.

Nordstrom said sales were particularly soft for seasonal items in the Northeast and Midwest, where cold weather hit sales at other retailers. But business picked up in April, the retailer said.

The results echo comments by a Macy's Inc executive on Wednesday that the upscale Bloomingdale's chain had a difficult first quarter.

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