May reports 1.69% increase in net income in 3rd quarter Department store owner also posts higher sales

November 11, 1997|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

ST. LOUIS -- May Department Stores Co., parent of Hecht Co., said yesterday that its fiscal third-quarter earnings rose 1.69 percent on higher sales.

Net income for the period ended Nov. 1 rose to $120 million, or 48 cents a fully diluted share, from $118 million, or 44 cents, a year earlier.

Per-share results were a penny short of the fully diluted average estimate of 22 analysts surveyed by IBES International Inc.

"People may have been expecting a little more than they should have," said analyst Jeffrey Edelman of Deutsche Morgan Grenfell. May's results were in line with his estimate for the quarter, he said.

Revenue rose 3.99 percent to $2.97 billion from $2.86 billion, including finance-charge revenue. Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, rose 3.1 percent, the company said.

During the quarter, May opened two Lord & Taylor stores, in Cherry Creek in Denver and in Philadelphia. It also opened a Filene's store in Auburn, Mass. May, which also operates the Strawbridge's store chain, operates 367 department stores.

For the first nine months of the year, May said profit from operations rose 2.45 percent to $334 million, or $1.32 a fully diluted share, from $326 million, or $1.21, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue rose 6.25 percent to $8.39 billion from $7.89 billion. Same-store sales rose 3.2 percent.

In the most recent period, a fiscal first-quarter charge of $4 million, or 1 cent a fully diluted share, for the early retirement of debt resulted in net income of $330 million, or $1.31 a share.

Pub Date: 11/11/97

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