Last updated: August 14. 2013 11:29PM - 594 Views

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Retailer reports


disappointing 2Q


Macy’s Inc. reported a disappointing profit for its second quarter and cut its outlook for the year on Wednesday, with the department store operator blaming shoppers’ reluctance to spend for a slip in sales.


Macy’s, which operates its namesake stores and Bloomingdales, is seen as a barometer of spending among middle- to upper-income shoppers.


Like other retailers, the Cincinnati-based company is grappling with a yo-yo economic recovery that’s making people more careful about their purchases heading into the heart of the key back-to-school selling period.


For the period ended Aug. 3, Macy’s says it earned $281 million, or 72 cents per share. That’s short of the 78 cents per share analysts expected. A year ago, the company earned $279 million, or 67 cents per share.


Revenue slipped to $6.07 billion, also short of the $6.26 billion analysts expected, according to FactSet.


Quite the year


to own John Deere


Deere & Co.’s third-quarter net income rose 27 percent, driven by booming agricultural activity in North and South America. The company easily beat most expectations, and shares are rising before the opening bell.


The farm and construction equipment manufacturer earned $997 million, or $2.56 per share, well ahead of the $2.17 per share that Wall Street was looking for.


Revenue climbed 4 percent to $10.01 billion, the company said Wednesday, also topping most expectations of analysts polled by FactSet.


The company last year booked earnings of $788 million, or $1.98 per share.


For the three months ended July 31, worldwide equipment sales increased 4 percent on higher prices. Equipment sales rose 4 percent in the U.S. and Canada and 5 percent in other regions.


Wholesale prices


hold steady in July


Falling energy prices kept a lid on U.S. wholesale inflation in July after a jump in gasoline boosted prices in June.


The Labor Department reported Wednesday that wholesale prices showed no change last month compared with June, when they rose 0.8 percent. That was the most in nine months.


Energy costs fell 0.2 percent, after June’s 2.9 percent surge. Gasoline prices dropped 0.8 percent, and natural gas costs slid 3.9 percent.


Excluding volatile food and energy costs, so-called core prices rose just 0.1 percent. Core wholesale prices are up 1.2 percent over the past 12 months, the smallest one-year increase since November 2010.


Tame inflation has helped consumers increase spending this year despite slow income growth and higher taxes.

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