Nordstrom Inc., the department store recently scolded by President Donald Trump, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit with help from strong sales online and at Nordstrom Rack.
The Seattle-based chain said Thursday that it earned $201 million, or $1.15 per share, for the fourth quarter that ended Jan. 28. Earnings adjusted for non-recurring costs came to $1.37 per share. That exceeds the $1.13 per share that analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were anticipating.
Nordstrom's total revenue increased 2 percent to $4.32 billion in the period, which fell shy of forecasts for $4.37 billion.
The company said in the Nordstrom brand, comparable sales decreased 2.7 percent, but in the discount Nordstrom Rack brand, comparable sales increased 4.3 percent.
Like many retailers, the company is redefining itself to respond to changing consumer habits. Nordstrom Rack now represents its largest source of new customers. And its Nordstrom.com online business represents 25 percent of its full-priced sales.
The financial quarter ended before Nordstrom announced that it would stop selling the Ivanka Trump brand of clothing and accessories. It cited weak sales of the brand. Days later, the president tweeted that his daughter had been treated "so unfairly by @Nordstrom" and later retweeted it from his official account.
The move raised ethical concerns, and angry shoppers called for a boycott. Top presidential aide Kellyanne Conway suggested on national television that people buy Ivanka Trump's line, an incident that sparked bipartisan condemnation and calls for ethics investigations.
Nordstrom said Thursday that any sales response to the tweet was "negligible" and "not really discernible."
Overall, Nordstrom shares have dropped slightly more than 8 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed 5.5 percent. But investors seemed to welcome the latest financial news Thursday, sending shares up more than 3 percent in extended trading.
The company said it expects to earn between $2.75 and $3 per share for the full year.
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