Macy's Massacred After Slashing Outlook On "Uncertain Consumer" As Inventories Reach Record Highs

The retailer apocalypse continues this morning with Macy's crashing almost 10% in the pre-market after missing top-line and slashing its outlook citing the "uncertain direction of consumer spending," which seems odd given the confidence with which The Fed, Obama, and every talking head proclaims the US consumer's health. Comp store sales plunged 6.1% (almost double expectations) and this comes at a time when clothing inventories are at an all-time record high relative to sales.

“We are seeing continued weakness in consumer spending levels for apparel and related categories. In particular, our sales trend relative to expectations meaningfully slowed beginning in mid-March, and first quarter results are below our original outlook. Headwinds also are coming from a second consecutive year of double-digit spending reductions by international visitors in major tourist markets where Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are key destinations, as well as a slowdown in some center core categories – further intensifying the challenges associated with growing topline sales revenue,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s, Inc. chairman and chief executive officer.

Sales in the first quarter of 2016 totaled $5.771 billion, a decrease of 7.4 percent, compared with sales of $6.232 billion in the same period last year. The year-over-year decline in total sales reflects, in part, the 41 stores closed in 2015. Comparable sales on an owned plus licensed basis were down by 5.6 percent in the first quarter. On an owned basis, first quarter comparable sales declined by 6.1 percent.

Noting that the uncertain direction of consumer spending makes predictions of future performance difficult, Macy’s, Inc. now expects full-year 2016 comparable sales on an owned plus licensed basis to decrease in the range of 3 percent to 4 percent, with comparable sales on an owned basis to be approximately 50 basis points lower. This compares with previous guidance for comparable sales on an owned plus licensed basis to decline by approximately 1 percent in fiscal 2016.

With top-line sales expected to remain below our initial expectations, the company has revised its guidance for earnings per diluted share (excluding settlement charges) in fiscal 2016 to a range of $3.15 to $3.40. This compares with previous guidance of $3.80 to $3.90 per diluted share in 2016.

The headlines are ugly...

  • *MACY'S 1Q NET SALES $5.77B, EST. $5.93B
  • *MACY’S 1Q OWNED BASIS COMP SALES DOWN 6.1%, EST. DOWN 3.1%
  • *MACY'S 1Q COMPS PLUS LICENSED DOWN 5.6%, EST DOWN 3.2%
  • *MACY’S NOW SEES YR ADJ. EPS $3.15-$3.40, SAW $3.80-$3.90

The result.. more pain

 

And it is not going toget better any time soon as inventories are at record highs relative to sales...


Inventories of clothing rose 0.2 percent in March as sales dropped 5.9 percent, pushing the inventory-to-sales ratio for apparel wholesalers to 2.32 months, the highest on record, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday.