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THE MAY DEPARTMENT STORES COMPANY REPORTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS OF $.69 PER SHARE; UP FOR QUARTER AND NINE MONTHS YEAR-TO-DATE

THE MAY DEPARTMENT STORES COMPANY REPORTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS OF
 $.69 PER SHARE; UP FOR QUARTER AND NINE MONTHS YEAR-TO-DATE
 ST. LOUIS, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The May Department Stores Company reported today fully diluted earnings per share of $.69 for the third quarter of fiscal 1991, the 13 weeks ended Nov. 2, up from $.67 per share in the year-ago quarter. For the first nine months of 1991, fully diluted earnings per share were $1.86, up from $1.83 in the same 1990 period.
 Net earnings for the 1991 third quarter were $91 million compared to $90 million last year. For the 1991 nine-month period, net earnings were $249 million compared to $248 million in the similar period last year.
 Net retail sales for the third quarter were $2.56 billion, up 8.4 percent from $2.36 billion last year. Year-to-date in 1991, net retail sales were $7.25 billion, up 7.8 percent from sales of $6.72 billion in the similar year-ago period.
 David C. Farrell, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "We are pleased with an earnings improvement in this very difficult economy. Our inventories are well positioned and with any increase in consumer sentiment we see opportunities to generate improved sales in this coming Christmas season."
 May opened three new department stores during the third quarter, making a total of 14 new stores opened in 1991. Lord & Taylor opened a store in Buffalo, N.Y.; Famous-Barr opened a new store in Carbondale, Ill.; and Thalhimers opened a store in Raleigh, N.C. In addition, Payless ShoeSource opened 103 net new stores during the quarter.
 Also during the third quarter, May announced plans to consolidate its Famous-Barr and L.S. Ayres divisions, effective February 1992, with headquarters for the division in St. Louis. The company announced earlier today that it plans to consolidate its Thalhimers division located in Richmond, Va., into its Hecht's division located in Washington, D.C., effective February 1992.
 The May Department Stores Company is one of the largest retailers in the United States, operating 333 department stores and 3,159 specialty shoe stores at the end of the third quarter.
 THE MAY DEPARTMENT STORES COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Condensed Consolidated Results of Operations
 (Millions, except per share)
 13 Weeks Ended
 Nov. 2, 1991 Nov. 3, 1990
 Pct. to Pct. to
 $ Revenues $ Revenues
 Net Retail Sales:
 Department stores $ 2,160 $ 2,008
 Payless ShoeSource 401 356
 Total Net Retail Sales $ 2,561 $ 2,364
 Revenues $ 2,561 $ 2,372
 Cost of sales 1,792 70.0 1,658 69.9
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses 551 21.5 509 21.5
 Interest expense, net 76 3.0 67 2.8
 Earnings before income taxes 142 5.5 138 5.8
 Provision for income taxes 51 35.6(A) 48 34.8(A)
 Net Earnings $ 91 3.6 $ 90 3.8
 Primary earnings per share $ .70 $ .69
 Fully diluted earnings
 per share $ .69 $ .67
 Dividends paid per
 common share $ .40-1/2 $ .39-1/2
 Primary average shares
 and Equivalents 124.1 124.3
 Fully diluted average shares
 and equivalents 132.1 132.2
 39 Weeks Ended
 Nov. 2, 1991 Nov. 3, 1990
 Pct. to Pct. to
 $ Revenues $ Revenues
 Net Retail Sales:
 Department stores $ 6,069 $ 5,683
 Payless ShoeSource 1,177 1,042
 Total Net Retail Sales $ 7,246 $ 6,725
 Revenues $ 7,253 $ 6,782
 Cost of sales 5,057 69.7 4,728 69.7
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses 1,572 21.7 1,477 21.8
 Interest expense, net 235 3.2 198 2.9
 Earnings before income taxes 389 5.4 379 5.6
 Provision for income taxes 140 36.1(A) 131 34.5(A)
 Net earnings $ 249 3.4 $ 248 3.7
 Primary earnings per share $ 1.90 $ 1.88
 Fully diluted earnings
 per share $ 1.86 $ 1.83
 Dividends paid per
 common share $1.20-1/2 $1.14-1/2
 Primary average shares
 and equivalents 124.1 125.1
 Fully diluted average shares
 and equivalents 132.1 133.0
 (A) Percent represents effective income tax rate
 Net Retail Sales - Percent Change versus 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.
 13 weeks ended 39 weeks ended
 Nov. 2, 1991 Nov. 2, 1991
 Store-for- Store-for-
 Total Store Total Store
 Department stores (percent) 7.6 0.0 6.8 (0.9)
 Payless ShoeSource 12.6 1.3 13.1 2.9
 Total (percent) 8.4 0.2 7.8 (0.3)
 THE MAY DEPARTMENT STORES COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Notes to Condensed Consolidated Results of Operations
 Interim Results: The unaudited condensed consolidated results of operations have been prepared in accordance with the company's accounting policies as described in the 1990 Annual Report to Shareowners and should be read in conjunction with that report. In the opinion of management, this information is fairly presented and all adjustments (consisting only of normal recurring adjustments) necessary for a fair statement of the results for the interim periods have been included; however, certain items are included in this statement based on estimates for the entire year. Certain last year interim amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation. Also, operating results of periods which exclude the Christmas season may not be indicative of the operating results that may be expected for the full fiscal year.
 Consolidations, Store Closings and Sale Transactions. During the 1991 third quarter, the Company announced the consolidation of the L.S. Ayres division based in Indianapolis into the Famous-Barr division based in St. Louis, effective February 1992. The company provided, in the third quarter, a pretax charge of $9 million for the consolidation costs. Also during the 1991 third quarter, the company recorded a $10 million pretax gain from a sale of a former store location.
 During the 1991 first quarter, the company provided a pretax charge of $24 million for anticipated closings of low productivity stores. Also during the 1991 first quarter, the company sold substantially all of its common stock of the Caldor Corporation for $35 million, resulting in a pretax gain of $25 million.
 Subsequent to the 1991 third quarter end, the company announced the consolidation of its Thalhimers division located in Richmond, Virginia into its Hecht's division located in Washington, D.C., effective February 1992. The Company will provide for the consolidation costs in the 1991 fourth quarter.
 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.
 Trailing Years' Results. Operating results for the trailing years were as follows (millions, except per share):
 52 Weeks Ended 53 Weeks Ended
 Nov. 2, 1991 Nov. 3, 1990
 Net retail sales (52-week basis) $10,497 $ 9,824
 Revenues $10,538 $10,020
 Net earnings from continuing operations $ 501 $ 531
 Fully diluted earnings per share from
 continuing operations $ 3.77 $ 3.83
 -0- 11/12/91
 /CONTACT: Jim Abrams of The May Department Stores, 314-342-6343/
 (MA) CO: The May Department Stores Company ST: Missouri IN: REA SU: ERN SH -- NY070 -- 3557 11/12/91 15:18 EST
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Date:Nov 12, 1991
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