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Earnings Preview: Macy’s Reports Amid Restructuring Efforts

May 10, 2017
Macy's Shopper With Shopping Bags

Macy’s (M) reports first-quarter earnings tomorrow morning. The retailer currently operates more than 700 Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s department stores as well as 125 specialty stores including its outlet stores and Bluemercury, a luxury beauty retailer with 80 locations in the United States, according to the company’s website.  

At the beginning of the year, Macy’s stock dropped when the company released holiday sales figures and lowered its 2016 guidance. At the same time, it also announced in a press release it would close 68 stores by mid-2017, part of the approximately 100 closings previously announced in August 2016. The press release stated the company would start a “significant restructuring of the Macy’s Inc. operations to focus resources on strategic priorities, improve operational agility and reduce expenses”.

For Macy’s first-quarter results, it’s expected to report earnings of $0.35 per share, down slightly from $0.40 in Q1 2016, on revenue of $5.47 billion, according to consensus third-party analyst estimates.    

The options market has priced in about a 6.5% potential stock move in either direction around its earnings release, according to the Market Maker Move indicator on the thinkorswim® platform. Options trading in the stock has been heavier than normal lately with more than three times the average volume. In short-term trading leading up to earnings at the May 12 weekly expiration, calls were active at the 29, 29.5, and 30 strike prices and puts were active at the 28 and 28.5 strikes. As of Wednesday morning, the implied volatility is at the 91st percentile, which is on the high side.    

Macy's (M) Stock YTD Performance Compared to the S&P 500 Retail Index


Macy’s stock (gray line) dropped following its release of holiday sales results and lowered guidance for its 2016 results. Its stock is shown above compared to the S&P 500 retail index (purple line). Chart source: thinkorswim® by TD Ameritrade.  Data source: Standard & Poor’s. Not a recommendation. For illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

What’s Macy’s Doing with All of its Stores?

There’s no denying that e-commerce has changed the way we shop. It’s also changing the way retailers operate their businesses. Like many traditional brick and mortar retailers, Macy’s has been working to develop an omnichannel strategy across its brands that effectively utilizes its physical locations. Macy’s decided to close stores and sell some of its real estate, but it’s also decided to repurpose some of them as well. When repurposing stores in the past, the company converted parts of stores into office space as well as created smaller stores on ground floors to rent out to other retailers.

A New CEO at the Helm

Jeff Gennette officially took the chief executive reins from Terry Lundgren on March 23, according to a company press release. Under the current plan, Lundgren will remain as executive chairman and continue to work with Gennette on an ongoing basis. Gennette has been with the company for over 30 years and was the president of the company prior to assuming his new role.

The company will likely release more details on the company’s restructuring progress and any additional real estate plans when it reports tomorrow. And Macy’s isn’t the only big brick and mortar retailer reporting tomorrow. JC Penney (JCP), Nordstrom (JWN), and Kohl’s (KSS) are also reporting first-quarter results. That’ll give investors plenty of results to consider.  

Good Trading,

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