By Anne Dinnocenzio Associated Press
NEW YORK — Upscale department store operator Nordstrom Inc. said Thursday that its affluent shoppers continued to spend in the fourth quarter and its profit rose 1.7 percent from a year earlier.
And the important retail metric of revenue at stores open at least a year climbed 7.1 percent.
But investors were disappointed in the company’s earnings outlook for the current year, and Nordstrom shares slid following the after-hours report.
Nordstrom said it earned $236 million, or $1.11 per share, in the quarter that ended Jan. 28. That’s up from $232 million, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier. Its revenue, excluding its credit card business, rose 12.5 percent to $3.17 billion from $2.82 billion.
The results roughly met analysts’ average forecast. They expected $1.10 per share on revenue of $3.17 billion, according to FactSet.
The shares fell $1.40, or 2.7 percent, to $50.78 after hours, having closed up 2.3 percent at $52.18.
Like many luxury stores, Nordstrom has seen its sales rebound since late 2009 as well-heeled shoppers have become more comfortable with spending, despite volatility in the stock market.
Nordstrom also has worked hard to make it easier to shop. It has fused its online and in-store inventory systems so shoppers can find out online what’s in stock at any given store in the chain.
The company also added Wi-Fi access for shoppers at all of its full-line department stores. And in September, Nordstrom began offering free shipping on most items without any minimum purchase. Shoppers previously had to spend at least $200 to qualify for free shipping.
Nordstrom said it expects revenue at its stores open at least a year to rise 4 percent to 6 percent in the current full fiscal year, and it expects to earn $3.30 to $3.45 per share.
Analysts were forecasting adjusted earnings of $3.59 per share for the year, according to FactSet.
The department store chain is based in Seattle.