Macy's sees profit despite weak sales

From the Associated Press

Macy's said its fiscal fourth-quarter profit edged up 2.3% as a tax settlement helped offset weaker-than-expected sales.

The department store operator said profit rose to $750 million, or $1.73 a share, in the three months ended Feb. 2, from $733 million, or $1.40, a year earlier. But revenue fell 6% to $8.59 billion.

Excluding integration costs stemming from its acquisition of May Department Stores Co. in 2005, a tax settlement and other items, net income was $1.65 a share, a nickel ahead of the estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. Analysts were looking for revenue of $8.62 billion.

Sales at stores open at least a year, considered a key indicator of a retailer's success, fell 2%, at the low end of the company's forecast last month.

Shares of Cincinnati-based Macy's rose $1.76, or more than 7%, to $26.52.

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