Nordstrom Lifts Full Year Outlook on 1st Quarter Hike

Seattle–Nordstrom Inc. has raised its earnings outlook for the year after posting a 43.8% hike in first quarter profit. The  retailer, which operates 193 stores, said it expects earnings in the range of $2.50 to $2.65 per share for the year, up from earlier forecasts of $2.35 to $2.55. The company’s stock has more than doubled since July of 2009, when it hit a low below $19.

The lift came as it reported net earnings of $116 million or $0.52 per share for the quarter, up from $81 million or $0.37 per share, in the same period last year. Net sales for the three months to 1 May rose 16.7% to $1.99 billion, up from $1.71 billion last time. Same-store sales increased 12.0%.

Top-selling items included jewelry, dresses and women’s shoes. Geographically, the top performing regions of the company were Midwest, Northeast and Southern regions. California, where the economy has been particularly hard hit by the recession, is still having difficulty regaining.

The positive earnings report marks the the third straight quarter where Nordstrom recorded a profit after reversing a decline in the second quarter last year. Being able to sustain the growth streak for the three consecutive quarters, starting with the third quarter, is also an indication of the gaining momentum in spending, a sign of strengthening economy, market analysts say.

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