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Nordstrom shares rise as retailer shows signs of recovery, helped by its Anniversary Sale

Pedestrians pass in front of a Nordstrom Inc. store in the Midtown neighborhood of New York, on March 20, 2020.Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Nordstrom shares got a lift Tuesday after the department store reported that its third-quarter sales picked up more than analysts had anticipated, suggesting it might have a stronger holiday season than some investors expected if trends continue.

Nordstrom shares were recently up more than 5% in extended trading Tuesday.

"We are encouraged by the positive momentum and expect continued progress in the fourth quarter and into 2021," said Pete Nordstrom, president and chief brand officer of Nordstrom.

Here's how the company did in the fiscal third quarter ended October 31, compared to what analysts were expecting, based on Refinitiv data:

  • Earnings per share: 34 cents vs. a loss of 6 cents expected
  • Revenue: $3.09 billion vs. $3.10 billion expected

Nordstrom said its net income fell to $53 million, or 34 cents per share, from $126 million, or 81 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv on average had expected the company to post a loss of 6 cents per share.

Total revenue for the company fell to $3.09 billion from $3.67 billion a year ago, and was lower than the $3.10 billion that analysts were expecting.

Digital sales in the three-month period were $1.6 billion and represented 54% of the retailer's business.

Nordstrom was among the retailers that were forced to close their doors in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Total sales were down 40% in the first quarter and 53% in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier.

In the third quarter, total sales were down only 16%. About 10% of that came from its Anniversary Sale, which was shifted to the third quarter this year from the second quarter last year.

Nordstrom did not provide an outlook for the fourth quarter, which can be a major sales driver because of holiday gift-giving.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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