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Nordstrom reports growth in 1Q profit, disappointing sales

UPDATED: Thu., May 11, 2017

In this Monday, March 23, 2015,  photo, a woman arrives at a Nordstrom luxury department store, at The Mall of San Juan, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nordstrom Inc. reports financial results, Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Ricardo Arduengo / Associated Press)
In this Monday, March 23, 2015, photo, a woman arrives at a Nordstrom luxury department store, at The Mall of San Juan, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nordstrom Inc. reports financial results, Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Ricardo Arduengo / Associated Press)
Associated Press

SEATTLE – Nordstrom Inc. said Thursday its overall profit jumped 37 percent at its department stores in the first quarter, but a key sales gauge fell short of Wall Street expectations.

Sales at established stores across the Seattle-based chain declined 0.8 percent in the quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected Nordstroms to report a dip of only 0.1 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 sales results at the company’s discount Nordstrom Rack unit were more encouraging, with a 2.3 percent improvement in established-store sales.

But investors still sold Nordstrom’s stock, which fell more than 4 percent to $44.25 in after-hours trading. That’s after it dropped nearly 8 percent in Thursday’s regular-session trading.

Nordstrom reported it earned $63 million, or 37 cents per share, in the quarter. That’s up from $46 million, or 26 cents per share, last year.

The latest quarter included a one-time interest expense of $18 million. Without that, Nordstrom’s quarterly profit would have been 43 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings per share of 28 cents.

Nordstrom said its total revenue grew 3 percent to $3.35 billion. Analysts were expecting $3.34 billion, according to FactSet.

Nordstrom reiterated its prediction for full-year earnings between $2.75 and $3 per share.

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