Nordstrom reported second-quarter earnings and sales on Thursday that topped analysts’ expectations, sending shares of the stock higher after market close.
Same-store sales — a metric monitored closely by Wall Street — for the company were also positive, a rare outcome among department stores of late. Nordstrom said its results this period were fueled by more customers ringing up purchases online.
Nordstrom’s stock was last climbing more than 3 percent higher in after-hours trading on the news. Shares had closed Thursday down 4.3 percent, following mixed reports by retail rivals Kohl’s, Macy’s and Dillard’s.
Here’s what the company reported vs what Wall Street was expecting:
- Earnings per share: 65 cents, compared to an estimate of 64 cents, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
- Revenue: $3.79 billion, compared to a forecast for $3.75 billion, Thomson Reuters said.
- Same-store sales: an increase of 1.7 percent, compared to a forecast drop of 0.4 percent for full-line and Rack stores, according to Thomson Reuters.
Nordstrom’s net income fell to $110 million, or 65 cents per share, from $117 million, or 67 cents per share, one year ago. Net sales rose 3.5 percent, to $3.72 billion.
Nordstrom said its Anniversary Sale this year, which is historically the company’s biggest sales event of the year, “performed better than recent trends.”
Notably, the retailer delivered online sales growth of 20 percent at Nordstrom.com, and 27 percent growth at Nordstromrack.com and HauteLook. Off-price sales at Nordstrom Rack were up 3.1 percent, while sales at full-line stores in the U.S. fell 4.4 percent. That is still better than a year ago, when sales fell 6.5 percent at its American full-line stores.
The best-performing merchandise categories for Nordstrom this quarter were women’s apparel and beauty.
So far in 2017, Nordstrom has opened six Nordstrom Rack stores and closed one of its full-line stores. While many of its department store peers have been forced to shutter unprofitable stores, Nordstrom has been known to keep a leaner real-estate footprint.
Looking ahead, Nordstrom has updated its full-year outlook; it now sees net sales increasing by about 4 percent, a tad better than a previous forecast for 3 to 4 percent growth. Nordstrom still expects comps to be flat, but it has increased the low end of its range for profit.
Nordstrom now expects to earn between $2.85 to $3 per share for the fiscal year 2017, compared to previous expectations for earning $2.75 to $3 a share.
The company also included highlights from its Nordstrom Rewards loyalty program, which now has 9.4 million active users in the U.S. and Canada. Sales from Nordstrom Rewards customers represented 56 percent of second-quarter sales, compared with 48 percent a year ago.
Still top of many analysts’ minds this quarter are Nordstrom’s latest talks to go private — something the company didn’t comment on in Thursday’s earnings release.
In June, the department store chain announced it was exploring such a transaction by the Nordstrom family after forming a special committee.
As a private company, Nordstrom is reportedly hoping to focus on initiatives such as investing more in e-commerce, closing underperforming stores and expanding its off-price chain, Nordstrom Rack. Meantime, department stores across the board are struggling to return to same-store sales growth.
Women’s Wear Daily last week reported that time was running out for Nordstrom to court a buyer, based on conversations the publication had with various bankers. Sources told WWD that Nordstrom continues to have conversations with potential partners, but those discussions are being described as “informal” and “just talks.”
As of Wednesday’s close, shares of Nordstrom have climbed 2 percent over the past 12 months, though the stock is down nearly 8 percent since the start of the year.