SEATTLE (AP) — Nordstrom Inc. reported a third-quarter profit of $114 million after reporting a loss a year ago, but the department store operator saw a key sales measure fall and trimmed its outlook for the year. Its shares fell more than 3 percent in extended trading.
The Seattle-based chain earned 67 cents per share in the quarter. That compares with last year’s loss of $10 million, or 6 cents per share. The results surpassed Wall Street expectations as the 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected earnings of 63 cents per share, on average.
Department stores sales have been under financial pressure as more people shop online, at off-price retailers, or spend less money overall on clothing, which makes up a big part of Nordstrom’s business. Nordstrom has been among the best performers in the department store arena, though its discount stores, called Nordstrom Rack, have been faring better than its department stores.
Net sales increased 2 percent to $3.54 billion. Total revenue was $3.63 billion.
Sales at established stores across the Seattle-based chain declined 0.9 percent in the quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected Nordstrom to report a dip of only 0.3 percent. The figure of sales at established stores is a key retail indicator because it strips out the effects of newly opened and recently closed locations.
The results at Nordstrom Rack unit were somewhat more encouraging, with a 0.8 percent improvement in established-store sales.
But the company said it expects full-year earnings in the range of $2.85 to $2.95 per share, down slightly from its previous forecast of between $2.85 and $3.
Nordstrom family members have been interested in taking the company private, but said last month they were putting the idea on hold. They said they may take the idea up again after the end of the crucial holiday season.
In June, members of the Nordstrom family including co-presidents Blake, Peter and Erik Nordstrom, said they were weighing the acquisition of 70 percent of the department store’s stock that they don’t already own. That could give Nordstrom more flexibility to navigate a rapidly changing retail environment. The chain traces its roots back to a Seattle shoe store opened by Swedish immigrant John Nordstrom and a partner in 1901.