Nordstrom Inc. reported a near 7 percent jump in third quarter profits after the market closed on Thursday, as affluent consumers showed no sign of shopping fatigue given the uncertainty in the economy and the volatility in the stock market.
The Seattle-based upscale retailer said it earned $127 million, or 59 cents per diluted share in the three-month period ended Oct.29, compared with $119 million, or 53 cents per share, for the same quarter last year. The result was in line with analysts' expectation.
Net sales came in at $2.38 billion, an increase of 14.2 percent compared with $2.09 billion during the same year-ago period.
Gross margin, a measurement of the profitability of goods sold, edged up by 40 percentage points to 37.3 percent. The retailer attributed the improvement in gross margin to the company's ability to leverage buying and occupancy expenses during the quarter.
Revenue at stores opened at least a year climbed 7.9 percent for the quarter.
The department store chain now expects fiscal 2011 earnings of $3.05 per share to $3.10 per share, from an earlier range of $2.95 per share and $3.10 per share. Nordstrom also predicted same-store sales would be approximately 6 percent, compared with its earlier view of a 4 percent to 6 percent increase.
Shares of Nordstrom are trading lower in the after-hours following the release of the earnings results. Currently, shares are lower by 2.46 percent, trading at $48.40. The company ended the regular session higher by 1.41 percent, or 69 cents, at $49.62. Before today, the company gained 13 percent this year.