Nordstrom Earnings Decent, Guidance Not So Good, Shares Hang In (JWN)

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Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN) posted $0.92 EPS on revenues of $2.51 Billion.  First Call had targets set at $0.88 EPS on $2.53 Billion revenues.

For the first quarter of 2008, Nordstrom projected  same-store sales -3% to -5% and it put earnings per share in the range of $0.49 to $0.54.  Unfortunately, First Call has consensus of $0.59 EPS.  Here is the rest of the guidance:

  • Same-store Sales Flat To -2%;
  • Gross profit (%) 30 to 60 basis point Decrease;
  • Expenses are all rising with SG&A expense (%) 60 to 80 basis point increase, net interest expense $55 to $60 million increase, and finance charges and other net $50 to $60 million increase.
  • Effective tax rate 38.7%;
  • Fiscal Jan-2009 EPS $2.75 to $2.90 on diluted shares outstanding of 228 million; First Call has estimates at $2.98 EPS. 

When you look at the guidance of the coming quarter, this implies that you have to discount the coming quarter and trust that it makes up the difference at the end of the year.

Shares closed up 2.7% at $36.98 in regular trading, and shares have given back about 1% to $36.65 in after-hours trading.  The good news here is that even with all the negative trends in the guidance and even with having to trust the company more than many might like, shares are not reacting much worse.  Maybe Wall Street is learning to price in bad news after one-third of the price had been cut in the stock.

Jon C. Ogg
February 25, 2008