Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) shares are down nearly 10% on Thursday after reporting quarterly results, falling to test critical support from a four-month consolidation range. A breakdown here would push M stock to levels not seen since 2010. From the high of $67.67 set in 2015, investors have suffered the ignominy of a near 70% decline. And it’s likely to get worse.
Earnings of 48 cents per share beat estimates by a penny despite a 5.4% drop on revenue from the year-ago period. Same-store sales fell 2.8% vs. the 3.3% drop expected, or 2.5% on an owned plus licensed basis. Strength in shoes, fine jewelry and men’s clothing was noted. And sales growth on the mobile front was said to be in the double digits.
While the M stock same-store sales decline wasn’t as bad a feared, the compression of profit margins proved worrisome as it reflects increasing reliance on discounts and promotions to whip up customer traffic.
Cost of sales increased to 59.7% from 59.1% in the year-ago period.
One possible positive that could motivate the bulls to step in here is a moderation of the same-store sales decline. In the prior quarter, same-store sales fell 5.2% vs. a 6.1% decline in the year-ago period.
Analysts remain skeptical about M stock. Telsey Advisory Group is encouraged by the moves company management is taking to reinvigorate the business. But they believe Macy’s, as an organization, is a “bigger ship to turn” relative to peers. Thus, they are waiting for demonstrable success in merchandising and the shopping environment. They also remain worried about pressure within the beauty, housewares and fashion watch categories.
Management will have a critical task performing well in the upcoming back-to-school shopping season. They said they’ve seen “good trends” so far.
For the beleaguered bulls, let’s hope they’re right.