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Federated raises earnings guidance for fiscal 2006 Q4

09
Feb '07
Federated Department Stores Inc reported sales for the five weeks of January. The January period reflects an extra week in fiscal 2006, creating a 53-week fiscal year that occurs approximately every six years in the accounting cycle for most retail companies.

Federated's total sales for January - the five-week month ended Feb. 3, 2007 - were $1.780 billion, an increase of 19.0 percent over total sales of $1.495 billion for the four weeks ended Jan. 28, 2006. Total sales from January 2006 to January 2007 were impacted by the closing of 78 duplicative store locations over the past year.

On a same-store, comparable four-week basis, Federated's January sales were up 8.6 percent. This compares with guidance for same-store sales to increase by 1.5 percent to 3 percent.

For the 14-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2006, Federated's sales totaled $9.157 billion, down 4.3 percent from total sales of $9.571 billion in the final 13 weeks of 2005. This compares with guidance for total sales to be between $9.1 billion and $9.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2006. On a same-store basis, the company's fourth quarter sales were up 6.1 percent.

The company's total sales for the 53 weeks of fiscal 2006 were $26.968 billion, up 20.4 percent from total sales of $22.390 billion in the 52 weeks of fiscal 2005. On a same-store basis, Federated's annual sales were up 4.4 percent.

The company increased its guidance for earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006. Excluding merger integration costs and related inventory valuation adjustments, the company now expects fourth quarter earnings from continuing operations of $1.55 to $1.60 per share, compared with previous guidance of $1.40 to $1.50 per share. The revised guidance includes a one-time gain of 6 cents per share related to completion of its debt tender offer, as announced in December 2006.


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