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Macy & # 39; s sways, however shares rise as stronger-than-expected on-line progress drives gross sales

Macy & # 39; s saw a stronger-than-expected online boom last quarter, despite its stores reopening during the coronavirus pandemic.

The department store operator's digital sales rose 53% year over year as more shoppers visited its website to purchase workout clothes and home decor. This helped to report a smaller loss and higher total revenue than analysts expected.

Given the great uncertainty in the industry ahead of the all-important Christmas season, Chief Executive Jeff Gennette said Macy's plan is conservative for the remainder of 2020 and the company has not presented a financial forecast.

Macy's shares gained around 5% in premarket trading.

Here's how the retailer behaved in its second fiscal quarter ending August 1, compared to analyst expectations based on refinitive data:

Loss per share: 81 cents versus a loss of $ 1.77, expected revenue: $ 3.56 billion $ 3.48 billion expected

Macy & # 39; s posted a net loss of $ 431 million, or $ 1.39 per share, compared to earnings of $ 86 million, or 28 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding one-time charges, it lost 81 cents per share, better than the analyst forecast of $ 1.77 per share.

Macy's net sales declined 35.8% to $ 3.56 billion from $ 5.55 billion last year, but surpassed expectations of $ 3.48 billion.

Sales online and at Macy's stores that have been open for at least 12 months and owned and licensed declined 35.1%. According to estimates by Refinitiv, analysts had called for a decline of 28.2%.

According to Macy & # 39; s, digital sales accounted for 54% of total comparable sales, with stores closed for one period of the quarter.

The company announced that it closed the second quarter with a strong liquidity position. The balance sheet was roughly $ 1.4 billion in cash.

Inventories decreased by 29% compared to the previous year.

America's department stores are grappling with the coronavirus crisis more than other retailers. A number of companies, including Neiman Marcus and Stage Stores, filed for bankruptcy in 2020. It seems that these companies are increasingly being viewed as unworthy of salvation. After nearly two centuries in business, Lord & Taylor announced last week that it would liquidate its remaining 38 businesses. And the conversations between the bidders to get J.C. Rescuing Penney from bankruptcy have fallen into a stalemate, and it is up to corporate lenders to get a last-minute survival contract.

Macy's stock was down more than 58% at close of trading on Tuesday this year. It has a market capitalization of $ 2.2 billion.

The full Macy & # 39; s earnings press release is available here.

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