Federated Sales 20 Percent Off Plan

Federated Department Stores Inc., parent of Macy's and Bloomingdale's, on Monday said sales are running 20 percent below its forecast since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington and that sales at stores open at least a year will be down by 15 to 20 percent for the month. 

Federated said it expects to revise downward its earnings guidance for the remainder of the year, but it is difficult to provide an accurate estimate in the current environment. It will provide new guidance after completing an assessment of the outlook for the balance of the year. 

Analysts had been looking for Federated to earn 51 cents per share in the third quarter, $2.19 per share in the fourth quarter, and $3.54 for the year, according to research firm Thomson Financial/First Call. 

In August, Federated lowered its full-year 2001 earnings forecast, saying it expected to earn $3.60 to $3.90 a share. At that time, the retailer also said it expected third-quarter earnings of 50 cents to 60 cents a share. 

Consumer confidence has been badly shaken and sales at both upscale and discount retailers have trailed forecasts since hijackers commandeered U.S. airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center's twin towers and the Pentagon. 

For example, athletic shoe seller Footstar Inc. and drugstore chain CVS Corp. both issued profit warnings last week, citing fallout from the attacks. 

Since the attacks, Federated said sales at its two Manhattan flagship stores -- Bloomingdale's 59th Street and Macy's Herald Square -- have been running about 40 percent below plan. During the past week, total company sales ran about 15 percent below plan. In the last week, Federated said its same-store sales fell $110 million short of expectations. 

Shares of Federated ended at $26.90 on Friday. The stock, which is down 22 percent since January, is underperforming the Standard & Poor's index of department stores, which is down 14 percent on the year.