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MAY REPORTS 18TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR OF RECORD EARNINGS PER SHARE, UP 17 PERCENT; ANNOUNCES TWO-FOR-ONE STOCK SPLIT; INCREASES DIVIDEND

 ST. LOUIS, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The May Department Stores Company (NYSE: MA), the largest department store retailer in the country, today reported its 18th consecutive year of record earnings per share with a 17 percent increase, declared a two-for-one stock split subject to shareowner approval of an increase in the number of authorized shares, and increased its dividend rate by 11 percent.
 Earnings per share for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 30 increased 17 percent to $4.52 per share from $3.87 per share in 1991. Net earnings for the period were $603 million compared to $515 million in 1991. Sales for the fiscal year increased 7.9 percent to $10.5 billion from $9.7 billion.
 May Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David C. Farrell said, "Our organization has performed well in a difficult economy, and we are pleased to report our 18th consecutive year of record sales and earnings per share. During 1992, we announced the consolidation of eight department store companies into four department store companies and the relocation of May Merchandising Company from New York to our corporate headquarters in St. Louis, forming a single corporate center. These important strategic steps have strengthened May, enabling us to better serve our customers with buying, marketing and administrative functions that are more effective and cost efficient, and giving us greater agility in responding to the merchandising needs of our customers."
 May Company announced that its board of directors voted to effect a two-for-one split of the company's common stock. The split is contingent upon shareowner approval of a two-for-one increase in the number of shares of authorized common stock from 350 million to 700 million. If approved, the stock split will be effected by the distribution on June 15, 1993, of one additional share of common stock for each share held by shareowners of record on June 1, 1993.
 The company further announced that, in view of its sales and earnings growth, the board of directors has approved an 11 percent increase in the annual common stock dividend rate to $1.84 per share ($.92 per share after the proposed stock split) from $1.66 per share. The dividend will be first payable on June 15, 1993, to shareowners of record on June 1, 1993, at the rate of $.46 per quarter on a pre-split basis ($.23 per quarter after the proposed stock split). May has increased its dividend 19 times in the last 18 years.
 "These actions reflect May Company's strong financial performance for 1992, as well as our confidence in the company's long-term growth," Mr. Farrell said. "May is very well positioned for 1993 and beyond, and our expansion plan is aggressive."
 For the fourth quarter of 1992, earnings per share were $2.40, a 19 percent increase from $2.01 in the prior year fourth quarter. Net earnings for the fourth quarter were $319 million compared to $266 million in the same quarter last year. Net retail sales for the 13 weeks ended Jan. 30, 1993, were $3.39 billion, up 10.0 percent from $3.09 billion last year.
 The May Department Stores Company is the largest department store retailer in the United States, operating 303 department stores and 3,563 Payless ShoeSource stores.
 THE MAY DEPARTMENT STORES COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 (Millions, except per share - Unaudited)
 52 Weeks Ended 13 Weeks Ended
 1/30/93 2/1/92 1/30/93 2/1/92
 Net Retail Sales:
 Department stores $8,681 $ 8,152 $2,951 $ 2,715
 Payless ShoeSource 1,788 1,548 443 370
 Total Net Retail Sales $10,469 $ 9,700 $3,394 $ 3,085
 Revenues $11,150 $10,615 $3,605 $ 3,362
 Cost of sales 7,691 7,339 2,413 2,283
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses 2,202 2,164 615 591
 Interest expense, net 279 316 64 82
 Special and nonrecurring
 items (A) 187(A) -- -- --
 Earnings before income taxes (A) 791(A) 796 513 406
 Provision for income taxes 188 281 194 140
 Net Earnings $ 603 $ 515 $ 319 $ 266
 Primary Earnings per Share $ 4.71 $ 4.02 $ 2.53 $ 2.12
 Fully Diluted Earnings
 per Share $ 4.52 $ 3.87 $ 2.40 $ 2.01
 Dividends Paid per
 Common Share $ 1.65 $ 1.61 $.41-1/2 $.40-1/2
 Primary Average Shares and
 Equivalents 124.4 124.0 124.8 124.0
 Fully Diluted Average Shares
 and Equivalents 132.6 132.1 132.7 132.1
 Percent to Revenues Before
 Special and Nonrecurring Items
 Cost of sales (in pcts.) 69.0 69.1 66.9 67.9
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses (B) 19.7 20.4 17.1 17.6
 Interest expense, net (B) 2.5 3.0 1.8 2.4
 Earnings before income
 taxes (in pcts.) 8.8 7.5 14.2 12.1
 Effective income
 tax rate (in pcts.) (B) 38.3 35.3 37.8 34.5
 Net Earnings (in pcts.) 5.4 4.9 8.8 7.9
 (A) -- During the 1992 third quarter, the company recorded pretax charges of $485 million, $298 million after tax, for special and nonrecurring items (see accompanying notes). During the 1992 second quarter, the company recorded a $298 million pretax and after tax nonrecurring gain from the distribution of the May Centers Associates partnership assets. Excluding the special and nonrecurring items, full year pretax earnings totalled $978 million. The special and nonrecurring items had no impact on full year net earnings or earnings per share.
 (B) -- For comparability, adjusting 1992 and 1991 to reflect the current status of the May Centers Associates partnership, the percent to revenues of selling, general and administrative expenses and interest expense, and the effective income tax rate would have been 19.8 percent, 2.4 percent and 38.5 percent, respectively, for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 30, 1993; 20.6 percent, 2.5 percent and 36.2 percent, respectively, for the 52 weeks ended February 1, 1992; and 17.8 percent, 2.0 percent and 35.0 percent, respectively, for the 13 weeks ended Feb. 1, 1992.
 Net Retail Sales -- Percent Increase Versus Last Year
 Net retail sales represent the sales of stores operating at the end of the latest period. They exclude finance charge revenue and 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
 1/30/93 1/30/93
 Store-for - Store-for-
 Total Store Total Store
 Department stores (in pcts.) 6.5 4.2 8.7 6.9
 Payless ShoeSource 15.5 2.8 19.8 7.0
 Total (in pcts.) 7.9 4.0 10.0 6.9
 THE MAY DEPARTMENT STORES COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet
 (Millions)
 ASSETS 1/30/93 2/1/92
 Cash $ 17 $ 15
 Cash equivalents 155 192
 Accounts receivable, net 2,367 2,404
 Merchandise inventories 1,791 1,741
 Other current assets 324 222
 Total Current Assets 4,654 4,574
 Property and equipment, net 3,158 3,151
 Goodwill 636 650
 Other assets 97 353
 Total Assets $ 8,545 $8,728
 LIABILITIES AND SHAREOWNERS' EQUITY
 Current maturities of
 long-term debt $ 252 $ 79
 Accounts payable 723 662
 Accrued expenses 939 652
 Income taxes payable 61 129
 Total Current Liabilities 1,975 1,522
 Long-term debt 2,879 3,918
 Deferred income taxes 320 331
 Other liabilities 176 163
 ESOP Preference Shares 389 394
 Unearned compensation (375) (381)
 Shareowners' equity 3,181 2,781
 Total Liabilities and
 Shareowners' Equity $ 8,545 $8,728
 Notes To Condensed Consolidated Financial Information
 Merchandise Inventories. Department store merchandise inventories (83 percent of the company's consolidated inventories in 1992) are valued by the retail method and are stated on the LIFO (last-in, first- out) cost basis, which is lower than market. The LIFO provision was a charge of $10 million in 1992 compared to $26 million in 1991. The LIFO provision in the 1992 fourth quarter was a credit of $10 million compared to a charge of $6 million in the 1991 fourth quarter. Payless ShoeSource merchandise inventories are valued by the retail method and are stated on the lower of average cost or market basis.
 Special and Nonrecurring Items. During 1992, the company announced four consolidations of department store companies. Effective Jan. 31, 1993, May Company, California, and Robinson's, both based in Los Angeles, were consolidated into a single company, Robinsons-May; May Company, Ohio, based in Cleveland was consolidated into Kaufmann's based in Pittsburgh; and G. Fox based in Hartford was consolidated into Filene's based in Boston. Effective May 1, 1993, May D&F based in Denver will be consolidated into Foley's based in Houston. In addition, the company announced the relocation of its New York merchandising offices, May Merchandising Company, to St. Louis effective June 1993.
 During the 1992 third quarter, the company recorded pretax charges of $485 million, $298 million after tax, for special and nonrecurring items. The pretax charges consisted of: $240 million for department store company consolidations (the Robinsons-May consolidation representing about 50 percent of the total); $125 million for planned closings of low productivity stores and other real estate-related charges including adjustments to reflect expected values of a number of properties planned for disposition; $60 million for the costs associated with achieving various operating efficiencies (the May Merchandising headquarters relocation to St. Louis representing about 50 percent of the total); $40 million for the costs associated with retiring high interest rate debt; and $20 million for a special contribution to The May Department Stores Company Foundation. The costs to retire the debt were not reflected as an extraordinary item as it is not material to total company annual earnings or the earnings trend of the company.
 During the 1992 second quarter, the company recorded a $298 million pretax and after tax nonrecurring gain from the distribution of the May Centers Associates partnership assets on May 18, 1992. The partnership dissolution and distribution of assets resulted in the company receiving 79 percent of the stock of May Centers Associates Corporation (MCAC) and The Prudential receiving 21 percent of the stock of MCAC and 100 percent of the stock of CenterMark Properties, Inc. (formerly known as May Centers, Inc.). The company acquired the remaining 21 percent of MCAC stock held by The Prudential during the 1992 fourth quarter for $156 million.
 The special and nonrecurring charges and the nonrecurring gain are shown as special and nonrecurring items on a separate line in the accompanying condensed consolidated results of operations. The special and nonrecurring items had no impact on full year net earnings or earnings per share.
 THE MAY DEPARTMENT STORES COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Financial Highlights
 (Millions, except per share)
 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987
 Net Retail Sales:
 Department Stores $8,681 $8,152 $7,814 $7,361 $6,481 $4,995
 Payless ShoeSource 1,788 1,548 1,366 1,228 1,132 1,065
 Total Net Retail
 Sales $10,469 $9,700 $9,180 $8,589 $7,613 $6,060
 Revenues $11,150 $10,615 $10,066 $9,602 $8,874 $7,480
 Operating Earnings:
 Department stores $1,109 $ 963 $ 915 $ 945 $ 792 $ 604
 Payless ShoeSource 214 184 161 144 138 132
 Total Operating
 Earnings 1,323 1,147 1,076 1,089 930 736
 Memo: LIFO provision
 (credit) included in
 operating earnings 10 26 39 (22) (3) 8
 Percent to Revenues:
 Department stores
 (in pcts.) 11.8 10.6 10.5 11.4 10.2 9.4
 Memo: LIFO provision
 (credit) 0.1 0.3 0.4 (0.3) -- 0.1
 Payless ShoeSource 12.0 11.9 11.7 11.7 12.2 12.4
 Corporate expense (73) (67) (67) (77) (85) (71)
 Interest expense (279) (316) (280) (233) (198) (80)
 Sold divisions and real
 estate 7 32 33 20 43 66
 Special and nonrecurring
 items (C) (187)(C) -- -- -- -- --
 Earnings before income
 taxes (C) 791 (C) 796 762 799 690 651
 Provision for income
 taxes (188) (281) (262) (284) (242) (258)
 Net Earnings $ 603 $ 515 $ 500 $ 515 $ 448 $ 393
 Net Earnings as a Percent
 of Revenues 5.4 4.9 5.0 5.4 5.1 5.3
 Fully Diluted Earnings
 per Share $4.52 $3.87 $3.74 $3.64 $3.04 $2.56
 Return on Beginning Net Assets:
 Department stores
 (in pcts.) 20.5 18.0 20.0 22.3 19.6 20.0
 Payless ShoeSource 26.5 29.0 28.9 28.9 29.3 31.1
 Total (D) 16.7 16.0 17.2 18.0 17.5 17.4
 Return on Shareowners' Beginning
 Equity (in pcts.) 21.5 20.7 21.8 18.0 18.6 17.0
 Dividends Paid Per
 Common Share $1.65 $1.61 $1.54 $1.39 $1.25 $1.12
 Annual Dividend Rate
 Per Common Share
 at Year-end $1.66 $ 1.62 $1.58 $1.42 $1.28 $1.14
 Annual Dividend Rate
 Per Common Share
 Effective
 June 15, 1993 $1.84
 Financial highlights represent results of continuing operations. All years are 52-week fiscal years, except 1989 which included 53 weeks. Net retail sales for 1989 are shown on a 52-week basis.
 (C) -- During the 1992 third quarter, the company recorded pretax charges of $485 million, $298 million after tax, for special and nonrecurring items (see accompanying notes). During the 1992 second quarter, the company recorded a $298 million pretax and after tax nonrecurring gain from the distribution of the May Centers Associates partnership assets. The special and nonrecurring items had no impact on full year net earnings or earnings per share.
 (D) -- Return on Beginning Net Assets for 1992 is based on pretax earnings before special and nonrecurring items.
 -0- 2/23/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Abrams of May Department Stores Company, 314-342-6343/
 (MA)


CO: May Department Stores Company ST: Missouri IN: REA SU: ERN

SM -- NY020 -- 9297 02/23/93 09:51 EST
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