CHICAGO – Federated Department Stores Inc. (FD), parent of Macy's (search) and Bloomingdale's (search), Wednesday posted weaker-than-expected quarterly profit after disappointing June sales, sending its stock down more than 3 percent.
Analysts raised concerns about rising pension and other costs, which overshadowed the retailer's optimistic sales and earnings forecast for the second half of the year.
Federated and other retailers posted disappointing sales in June as steep gasoline prices and uncooperative weather curbeds forecast.
But J.P. Morgan retail analyst Shari Eberts called the results "sloppy" and said the increased profit forecast reflected lower interest expenses and bigger share buybacks.
Federated earned $78 million, or 43 cents per share for the second quarter ended July 31, compared with $120 million, or 64 cents per share for the same period a year ago.
Analysts on average expected 46 cents per share.
Excluding the cost of debt repurchase, the company posted a profit of 63 cents per share.
Quarterly sales rose 3.3 percent to $3.55 billion, while sales at stores open at least a year -- a key retail measure known as same-store sales -- also rose 3.3 percent.
The retailer said women's and men's sportswear sold particularly well in the latest quarter, but demand for furniture, young men's clothing and swimwear was weak.
Federated said it expects same-store sales growth in the range of 1.5 percent to 3 percent in the second half of the year, with earnings per share in the range of $3.70 to $3.80 per share, including the debt repurchase costs.
The company had previously forecast full-year earnings of $3.60 to $3.70 per share.
The stock was down $1.56, or 3.4 percent, at $44.46 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange (search).