Macy*s (M, $34.56) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Bloomingdale’s, sells merchandise in 45 states. Macy*s just reported excellent December sales, a few store closures, new store openings, and good news on dividends and share repurchases.
"We are encouraged that Macy's continues to fine-tune its store portfolio. We believe that the company took advantage of lease expirations to close older, underperforming stores that required significant investment (7 of the 9 stores were opened before 1995), and also closed stores that were cash flow negative. Macy's also announced a new small format Bloomingdale's store (120k) that will open in Fall 2013, and we believe that the company has been pleased with the sales and returns offered by this format. We reiterate our Buy rating and $47 target price." -- Citi Investment Research and Analysis (CIRA), January 4, 2012
"Macy’s Inc. is raising its earnings outlook for the fourth quarter and full year due to a strong holiday season and says it will double its quarterly dividend to 20 cents a share. The retailer is also increasing its share repurchase program by $1 billion." -- Macy's boosts earnings outlook on strong holiday season; doubles quarterly dividend, WashingtonPost.com, Jan. 5, 2012
Macy*s is also expanding its small format Bloomingdale's stores. "The new Bloomingdale's stores that will open in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 will reflect the company's smaller, 120k square foot format. Bloomingdale's has opened similar format stores in SoHo (NYC), Chevy Chase, MD, and Santa Monica, CA, in recent years, and management has been pleased with the results. These smaller stores offer a more localized fashion assortment and appeal to a more contemporary customer." -- CIRA, Jan. 4, 2012.