M stock was up 9% as of Wednesday morning. The rosy performance bodes well for J.C. Penney and Nordstrom, both set to report their quarterly results on Thursday.
Executives told investors the changes were paying off as planed, drawing more shoppers online and in stores and boosting sales overall. It's also testing more curated merchandise displays and localized marketing.
The company estimates that comparable sales in the first quarter of 2018 benefited about 250 basis points from the shift of Friends and Family from the second quarter to the first. It also had significant improvements in global tourism, which was up 10 percent - its best numbers since 2014.
The better-than-expected results prompted the retailer to hike its full-year 2018 forecast.
Shares of rival department stores also rose.
"Tax cuts, bonuses and good tax refunds have all been a windfall to consumers who have responded by increasing spending", said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail. American International Group Inc. now owns 23,923,612 shares of the company's stock worth $602,636,000 after purchasing an additional 11,894,858 shares during the last quarter.
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Morgan Stanley analysts downgraded Macy's stock last week, writing, "While Macy's has proactively closed stores, ongoing negative store-only comps lead us to question if it is closing them fast enough".
In the first quarter ended May 5, Macy's recorded company net income of $139 million, or 45 cents per diluted share, versus $78 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, in the year-before period. During the same quarter a year ago, the business posted $0.24 earnings per share. "There's a lot of non-cannibalizing product that can go into the mix there", chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette told analysts during this morning's first-quarter call. California State Teachers Retirement System now owns 599,936 shares of the company's stock valued at $15,112,000 after acquiring an additional 42,796 shares during the last quarter.
Still, Macy's stock is now up almost 30% this year, a clear sign that many on Wall Street also believe that Macy's is back on track.
During the quarter, Macy's noted that comparable sales on an owned basis were up 3.9% compared to the first quarter of 2017. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,209,734 shares of the company's stock valued at $30,473,000 after acquiring an additional 311,230 shares during the last quarter. The retailer's comps were more than three percentage points higher than the FactSet consensus of 0.7%, cited by MarketWatch, and top-line sales were more than $10 million higher than the FactSet consensus of $5.43 billion. The chain's prior outlook was for an adjusted profit between $3.55 and $3.75 per share and revenue that would be down 0.5 percent to 2 percent.
Macy's also said it would end a joint venture agreement with Fung Retailing Ltd in China but would remain active on Alibaba's e-commerce platform TMall as well as social media channels.
Macy's shares rose $2.67 to $32.60 on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research lowered Macy's from a "buy" rating to a "hold" rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 8th.