May 15 - Macy's rings up $6.39 billion in sales, bringing profits higher defying worries of a consumer slowdown, leading to a higher dividend. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Your Daily Digit is $6.39 billion. That's how much Macy's rung up in sales in the first quarter. Better same-store-sales and spruced up e-commerce helped lift net income above analysts' expectations. Macy's also benefited from a sharp sales decline at rival J.C. Penney and a middling performance at mid-tier department store Kohl's. Still, Macy's Chief Executive Terry Lundgren said the company saw "weakness" in parts of its clientele, including among its more affluent customers. Macy's stood by its previous conservative forecast for earnings and same-store sales for the full year. But the company boosted its quarterly dividend and share buyback program. Net profit at Macy's topped forecasts at a time when U.S. retail sales in April were dented by cool weather in large parts of the country, prompting many consumers to delay shopping for spring merchandise.