Shares of Federated
The bottom-line growth topped expectations and came in at the high end of previous guidance, but like last quarter, the company's same-store sales continue to trail others in the high end of the retail world by a wide margin. For the quarter, it managed a slim 0.8% gain in comps, while Nordstrom
However, even the thinnest gain stacks up well against May Department Stores
Talks between the companies stalled a week ago when the two couldn't agree on a price. In the last few days, though, discussions have apparently resumed and by some accounts have reached the latter stages. Reportedly, the two parties have found some common ground around the $40 range (which would represent about a 17% premium from current prices). Should talks break down again, Federated may set its sights on Saks
The merger would unite the two largest upscale players in the industry, but at this point there is little sense in speculating about the possible merits of such an arrangement. To be sure, though, Federated could use help from somewhere, since organic growth has gone nowhere over the last few years.
Fool contributor Nathan Slaughter owns none of the companies mentioned.