NEW YORK – Upscale department store chain Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) Thursday said quarterly earnings jumped 62 percent, as inventory and expense controls boosted profits.
The Seattle-based retailer said earnings for the fiscal second quarter ended July 31 rose to $106.9 million, or 75 cents per share from $65.9 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts, on average, had been expecting Nordstrom to earn 77 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates (search), while the company predicted second-quarter earnings in the range of 70 to 74 cents per share.
Sales for the quarter rose 9.4 percent to $2.0 billion, the company said. Sales at stores open at least one year, or same store sales, rose 6.8 percent.
The company said the quarterly performance reflected ongoing inventory management, expense control and a successful Anniversary Sale.
Gross profit increased 180 percentage points as the company saw lower markdowns compared with the prior year.
Selling, general and administrative expenses improved 20 percentage points.
The company also said its board raised its quarterly dividend to 13 cents per share, up 2 cents per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 15 to shareholders of record on Aug. 31.
Looking ahead, Nordstrom boosted its full-year outlook to earnings of $2.46 to $2.50 per share up from $2.42 to $2.46 per share, and said it expected third-quarter earnings in the range of 35 cents to 40 cents per share.
Analysts had expected the company to earn $2.54 per share, excluding special items, for the year and 44 cents per share for the third quarter, according to Reuters Estimates.
The company said it expected same-store sales for the year to increase by 4 percent to 6 percent. It expects third-quarter same-store sales to rise by 1 percent to 3 percent.