New investments benefit these retailers

Article Excerpt

Retail spending continues to rise in the U.S., even with continued weakness in job and housing markets. That’s good news for these three leading department-store operators. All three should continue to benefit from the investments they have made in new stores, and in building their brands and online businesses. MACY’S INC. $30 (New York symbol M, Aggressive Growth Portfolio, Consumer sector; Shares outstanding: 420.6 million; Market cap: $12.6 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 0.5; Dividend yield: 1.3%; TSINetwork Rating: Average; www.macysinc.com) operates 810 Macy’s and 41 Bloomingdale’s department stores in 45 states. The company continues to benefit from its “My Macy’s” plan to tailor its merchandise to local tastes. This strategy has increased customer traffic in its stores and encouraged repeat visits. As well, the company recently settled some outstanding tax disputes; that lowered its overall tax bill. In the third quarter of fiscal 2012, which ended October 29, 2011, Macy’s earnings soared to $139 million, or $0.32 a share. A year earlier, it earned just…

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