Saks Fifth Avenue (UNKNOWN:UNKNOWN) is the latest retailer to let down investors after posting disappointing quarterly results. The upscale department store operator reported a second-quarter loss that was wider than Wall Street expected, as costs mounted and sales faltered. However, Saks didn't blame its shortcomings on the consumer like so many other retailers did.

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Sales rose a meager 0.5% to $707.8 million for Saks' last quarter as a publicly traded company. Analysts were looking for revenue of $732.3 million. This translated into a loss of $19.6 million or $0.13 per share, compared to a loss of $12.3 million or $0.08 a share in the year-ago period  However, excluding certain charges such as $2.5 million in costs related to the retailer's pending merger with Canadian-based Hudson's Bay, the per-share loss would be $0.10.

While other department store chains including Macy's (NYSE:M) and Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) blamed weak sales on the consumer, Saks held itself accountable. Saks said higher year-over-year markdowns of men's and women's shoes hurt margins in the quarter, while sales were negatively affected by a late start to the company's annual end-of-spring sales event.

Let's see how Saks' second-quarter earnings measure up to rival department store stocks.



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Ouch. It wasn't a flattering second quarter for any of these department stores. In fact, both Macy's and Nordstrom reduced their full-year outlooks due to the challenging retail environment. Macy's now expects same-store sales growth of between 2% and 2.9% for fiscal 2013, down from 3.5%. Meanwhile, Nordstrom now expects comps to increase just 2% to 3% on the year, below its previous prediction of 3% to 5% growth.

Saks, on the other hand, didn't provide guidance since it agreed to be purchased by Hudson's Bay for $16 a share last month. The deal, which is valued at $2.9 billion including debt, is expected to close before the end of the year, according to Saks.

It has been a tough earnings season for retail stocks.