Depending on whom you ask, we're either in the midst of a retail runaway, or an impending crash. Is job growth going to goose Americans into buying yet more stuff? Or will rising interest rates spook consumers? (Fat chance.)
To judge by this morning's numbers, Federated Department Stores
Revenues were up 7% to $3.5 billion, with comp sales increases at the same 7%. The real fuel for the earnings fire was provided by a 1.7% improvement in operating margins.
Federated's comps increase is better than most in the department store segment of the retail world -- save current standouts like Stein Mart
However, the firm expects the pace to slacken, predicting full-year comps around 3-4% and earnings reaching a range near $3.85 per share. That puts the shares on a forward P/E around 12, making it look inexpensive when compared to peers May, draggingDillard's
Line 'em up and race 'em -- your favorite stores, that is -- on the Fool's Retail discussion board.