Holiday sales not helpful for all

People gather at Macy's Herald Square store ahead of early opening for the Black Friday sales in Manhattan

The driver of comparable digital sales growth, which came in up 29%, was store-fulfilled digital sales. The disappointing guidance update sent retail stocks tumbling across the board, with Kohl's, Target and Nordstrom all experiencing declines in early trading.

Macy's Inc. shares plunged 18 percent on Thursday after the department store operator slashed its full-year profit and sales forecast on the back of an anemic holiday season, sending a chill through the wider retail sector.

Adding to the uncertainty is that investors will not be getting December's monthly retail sales data next week from the Commerce Department if the government shutdown is still in effect, as most observers expect.

Target said its sales were helped by higher customer visits and strong online sales during the holiday season, as well as strength in with toys, baby and seasonal gifts. Many investors had expected department stores to enjoy robust sales in light of a USA economy buoyed by low unemployment, higher wages, strong consumer confidence and cheap gas. Macy's said same-store sales for the final two months of the year were up just 1.1%.

"The holiday season began strong - particularly during Black Friday and the following Cyber week, but weakened during the mid-December period and did not return to expected patterns until the week of Christmas", Jeff Gennette, chairman and chief executive officer at Macy's, said in a statement.

Inter Milan president Zhang insists Icardi staying
The figures being talked about in Italy aren't true and we haven't received a satisfactory proposal from Inter yet. We believe that Mauro is at a superior level", she continued.

A prominent retail analyst says that the shift to online spending as well as the volatile stock market hurt Macy's during the holiday. In November, e-commerce and catalog sales jumped 10.8 percent from a year earlier, according to Commerce Department data, more than double the overall sales increase of 4.2 percent. Department store sales slipped 0.2 percent during the same period.

Consensus estimates are calling for $4.23 in EPS and $25.01 billion in revenue for the coming year.

A recession could hit many department stores particularly hard, some industry watchers said. It also operates SuperTarget stores with a line of food and general merchandise items and offers an assortment of general merchandise, including many items found in the company's stores and a complementary assortment, such as extended sizes and colors, sold only online. Guidance for same-store sales also declined a bit, with the company now expecting a rise of roughly 2 percent in fiscal 2018, compared to its prior forecast for an increase of between 2.3 to 2.5 percent.

The company still expects full-year adjusted earnings in a range of $5.30 to $5.50 per share. That's well below the per-share projections of $4.23 from industry analysts.

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