A person walks past a Macys store in Hyattsville, Maryland, on February 22, 2022.

Stefani Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

Macy’s on Thursday reported fiscal first-quarter profits and sales ahead of analysts’ expectations, as shoppers returned to malls to shop for new outfits, luggage and luxury goods in spite of decades-high inflation that has threatened to curtail consumption.

The department store chain, which also owns Bloomingdale’s, reaffirmed its fiscal 2022 sales outlook and raised its profit guidance, expecting stronger credit card revenue for the remainder of the year.

It joins Nordstrom in bucking a broader trend in the retail industry of downbeat forecasts and warnings of a consumer pullback on discretionary spending. In recent days, companies including Walmart, Target, Kohl’s and Abercrombie & Fitch have cautioned that higher expenses on logistics and labor will continue to eat into their profits in the near term.

Macy’s shares soared more than 14% in premarket trading on the news.

The retailer still expects 2022 revenue to be flat to up 1% compared with 2021 levels, which would be a range of $24.46 billion to $24.7 billion.

It now projects earnings, on an adjusted basis, between $4.53 and $4.95 per share, up from a prior range of $4.13 to $4.52.

“While macroeconomic pressures on consumer spending increased during the quarter, our customers continued to shop,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette said in a press release. He added that the company saw a shift among consumers back into stores and toward clothing for special occasions such as women’s dresses and tailored men’s items.

Here’s how Macy’s did in its fiscal first quarter compared with what Wall Street was anticipating, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $1.08 adjusted vs. 82 cents expected
  • Revenue: $5.35 billion vs. $5.33 billion expected

For the three-month period ended April 30, Macy’s reported net income of $286 million, or 98 cents per share, compared with net income of $103 million, or 32 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, it earned $1.08 per share, topping analysts’ expectations for adjusted earnings per share of 82 cents.

Revenue grew to $5.35 billion from $4.71 billion in the year-ago period, also topping analysts’ forecast.

Same-store sales for both its owned and licensed stores grew 12.4% compared with the prior year. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had been looking for a 13.3% increase.

Macy’s reported inventory levels as of April 30 that were up 17% from the prior year and down 10% compared with 2019 levels.

Macy’s said those levels were somewhat inflated as shoppers shifted away from buying active and casual wear, as well as home goods. Supply chain constraints also loosened over the quarter, it said, resulting in a higher percentage of inventory receipts than the retailer had expected.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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