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MAY DEPARTMENT STORES REPORTS E.P.S. INCREASE OF 3 PERCENT TO $3.87 FOR FY1991; 17TH CONSECUTIVE RECORD YEAR; FOURTH QUARTER E.P.S. UP 5 PERCENT

MAY DEPARTMENT STORES REPORTS E.P.S. INCREASE OF 3 PERCENT TO $3.87 FOR FY1991; 17TH CONSECUTIVE RECORD YEAR; FOURTH QUARTER E.P.S. UP 5 PERCENT
 ST. LOUIS, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The May Department Stores Company (NYSE: MA) today reported fully diluted earnings per share of $3.87 for fiscal 1991, the 52 weeks ended Feb. 1, 1992, up 3 percent compared to $3.74 in fiscal 1990. Net earnings in fiscal 1991 totaled $515 million compared to $500 million in the prior year. Net retail sales were $10.4 billion in fiscal 1991, an increase of 5.5 percent from sales of $9.86 billion in fiscal 1990.
 David C. Farrell, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "Our organization has performed well during what now has been two years of a difficult economy. We are pleased to report our 17th consecutive year of record sales and earnings per share. With any improvement in the economic climate, the new merchandise and customer service initiatives that we have put in place and our attention to expenses will greatly benefit May.
 "During 1991, we continued our aggressive expansion plan, opening 14 department stores and 328 net Payless ShoeSource stores. In the 1992- 1996 period, we plan to add 96 new department stores and approximately 1,200 net new Payless ShoeSource stores. This year, six department stores and approximately 270 net new Payless stores will open."
 For the fourth quarter of 1991, fully diluted earnings per share were $2.01, a 5 percent increase from $1.91 in the prior-year fourth quarter. Net earnings for the fourth quarter totaled $266 million compared to $252 million in the same quarter last year. Net retail sales for the 13 weeks ended Feb. 1, 1992, were $3.28 billion, up 3.3 percent from $3.18 billion last year.
 The May Department Stores Company is one of the largest retailers in the United States, operating 318 department stores and 3,295 Payless ShoeSource stores at fiscal year-end.
 THE MAY DEPARTMENT STORES COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Condensed Consolidated Results of Operations
 (Millions, except per share)
 52 Weeks Ended 2/1/92 2/2/91
 Pct. to Pct. to
 $ Revenues $ Revenues
 Net retail sales:
 Department stores $ 8,854 $ 8,491
 Payless ShoeSource 1,548 1,366
 Total net retail sales 10,402 9,857
 Revenues 10,615 10,066
 Cost of sales 7,339 69.1 6,978 69.3
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses 2,164 20.4 2,046 20.3
 Interest expense, net 316 3.0 280 2.8
 Earnings before income taxes 796 7.5 762 7.6
 Provision for income taxes 281 35.3(A) 262 34.3(A)
 Net earnings $ 515 4.9 $ 500 5.0
 Primary earnings per share $4.02 $3.88
 Fully diluted earns. per share $3.87 $3.74
 Dividends paid per com. share $1.61 $1.54
 Primary average shares and
 equivalents 124.0 124.5
 Fully diluted average shares
 and equivalents 132.1 132.4
 13 Weeks Ended 2/1/92 2/2/91
 (Unaudited) Pct. to Pct. to
 $ Revenues $ Revenues
 Net retail sales:
 Department stores $ 2,915 $ 2,854
 Payless ShoeSource 370 325
 Total net retail sales 3,285 3,179
 Revenues 3,362 3,284
 Cost of sales 2,283 67.9 2,250 68.5
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses 591 17.6 569 17.3
 Interest expense, net 82 2.4 82 2.5
 Earnings before income taxes 406 12.1 383 11.7
 Provision for income taxes 140 34.5(A) 131 34.1(A)
 Net earnings $ 266 7.9 $ 252 7.7
 Primary earnings per share $2.12 $2.00
 Fully diluted earns. per share $2.01 $1.91
 Dividends paid per com. share $.40-1/2 $.39-1/2
 Primary average shares and
 equivalents 124.0 123.5
 Fully diluted average shares
 and equivalents 132.1 131.8
 (A) -- Percent represents effective income tax rate.
 Net Retail Sales - Percent Change vs. Prior Year
 Net retail sales represent the sales of stores operating at the end of the latest period. They include the sales of Thalhimers since November 1990, and exclude the sales of stores which have been closed and not replaced. Store-for-store sales represent sales of those stores open during both periods.
 52 Weeks ended 13 Weeks ended
 2/1/92 2/1/92
 Store-for- Store-for-
 Total Store Total Store
 Department stores 4.3 (0.7) 2.1 (0.7)
 Payless ShoeSource 13.3 2.6 13.8 1.5
 Total 5.5 (0.3) 3.3 (0.5)
 Notes to Condensed Consolidated Results of Operations
 -- LIFO. Merchandise inventories are valued at the lower of cost or market as primarily determined by the retail method, and are stated on the LIFO (last-in, first-out) cost basis for department stores (84 percent of the company's consolidated inventories in 1991) and on the FIFO (first-in, first-out) cost basis for Payless ShoeSource. The LIFO provision was a charge of $26 million in 1991 compared to $39 million in 1990. The LIFO provision in the 1991 fourth quarter was a charge of $6 million compared to $17 million in the 1990 fourth quarter.
 -- Consolidations, Store Closings and Sale Transactions. During 1991, the company announced the consolidation of its Thalhimers division based in Richmond, Va., into its Hecht's division based in Washington, D.C., effective February 1992. Also, the company announced the consolidation of its L.S. Ayres division based in Indianapolis into its Famous-Barr division based in St. Louis, effective February 1992. The company provided in 1991 pretax charges of $36 million for costs associated with these consolidations and $26 million for the costs associated with closing 20 low productivity stores, 15 of which were Thalhimers and L.S. Ayres locations. In addition, during 1991 the company recorded pretax gains of $35 million from real estate transactions and $25 million from the sale of its equity interest in the Caldor Corporation.
 -- Acquisition. Effective Nov. 4, 1990, the company acquired the Thalhimers department store company for $317 million. The acquisition was accounted for as a purchase and the results of Thalhimers have been included since the effective acquisition date of Nov. 4, 1990.
 THE MAY DEPARTMENT STORES COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Financial Highlights
 (Millions, except per share)
 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987 1986
 Net retail sales:
 Department stores $ 8,854 $ 8,491 $7,984 $7,073 $5,517 $5,088
 Payless ShoeSource 1,548 1,366 1,230 1,132 1,065 934
 Total net retail
 sales 10,402 9,857 9,214 8,205 6,582 6,022
 Revenues 10,615 10,066 9,602 8,874 7,480 7,437
 Operating earnings:
 Department stores 963 915 945 792 604 540
 Payless ShoeSource 184 161 144 138 132 138
 Total operating
 earnings 1,147 1,076 1,089 930 736 678
 Memo: LIFO provision
 (credit) included in
 operating earns. $ 26 $ 39 $ (22) $ (3) $ 8 $ 4
 Percent to net retail
 sales:
 Department stores 10.9 10.6 11.5 10.6 10.0 9.1
 Memo: LIFO provision
 (credit) 0.3 0.4 (0.3) -- 0.1 0.1
 Payless ShoeSource 11.9 11.7 11.7 12.2 12.4 14.8
 Real estate $ 32 $ 33 $ 20 $ 30 $ 33 $ 29
 Corporate expense (67) (67) (77) (85) (71) (87)
 Interest expense (316) (280) (233) (198) (80) (92)
 Sold divisions and
 unusual items -- -- -- 13 33 43
 Earns. from cont. opers.
 before income taxes 796 762 799 690 651 571
 Provision for income
 taxes (281) (262) (284) (242) (258) (238)
 Net earnings from
 continuing opers. $ 515 $ 500 $ 515 $ 448 $ 393 $ 333
 Net earnings from
 cont. opers. as a
 percent of revenues 4.9 5.0 5.4 5.1 5.3 4.5
 Fully diluted earnings
 per share from
 continuing opers. $3.87 $3.74 $3.64 $3.04 $2.56 $2.10
 Return on beginning
 net assets (pct):
 Department stores 18.0 20.0 22.3 19.6 20.0 20.5
 Payless ShoeSource 29.0 28.9 28.9 29.3 31.1 38.0
 Total cont. opers. 16.0 17.2 18.0 17.5 17.4 17.7
 Return on shareowners'
 beginning equity
 (pct) 20.7 21.8 18.0 18.6 17.0 15.7
 Dividends paid per
 common share $1.61 $1.54 $1.39 $1.25 $1.12 $1.02
 Effective annual
 dividend rate
 at year-end $1.62 $1.58 $1.42 $1.28 $1.14 $1.04
 Net retail sales for 1989 are shown on a calendar-adjusted 52-week basis. All years are 52-week fiscal years, except 1989 which included 53 weeks.
 -0- 2/25/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Abrams of the May Department Stores Company, 314-342-6343/
 (MA) CO: The May Department Stores Company ST: Missouri IN: REA SU: ERN


GK -- NY034 -- 2292 02/25/92 11:10 EST
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