Nordstrom 4Q Earnings Up 34%

Seattle, Nordstrom today reported a 34% rise in net earnings for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, 2005. The retailer reported net earnings of $140 million, or $1 per diluted share. The earnings were reduced $4.7 million, or 30? per share, due to a non-cash expense adjustment related to a correction in the company’s lease accounting policy. Excluding the adjustment, 2004 fourth-quarter net earnings were $144.7 million, or $1.03 per diluted share.

Sales for the quarter increased 9.4%, to a record $2.1 billion vs. $1.9 billion in the same period last year. Fourth-quarter same-store sales increased 7.2%, which was better than the company’s plan.

For the fiscal year ended Jan. 29, 2005, net earnings increased 62% to $393.5 million compared to $242.8 million for the same period last year. Total sales for the year increased 10.6% to $7.1 billion compared to prior-year sales of $6.4 billion. Same-store sales rose 8.5%.

Nordstrom opened two full-line stores during fiscal 2004, one in Charlotte, N.C., and the other in Miami. It plans to open a store at Phipps Plaza, Atlanta, during the first quarter of 2005.