Macy’s to take $5.1 billion goodwill impairment charge

Cincinnati Macy's said Tuesday it will book a hefty $5.1 billion after-tax charge to write down the value of goodwill in 2008. The charge falls within the range of the department store retailer's $4.5 billion to $5.5 billion forecast.

Goodwill represents certain values a company has beyond its physical assets, such as its brand, customers, reputation, etc. The impairment charge, which totals $12.07 per share, is mainly the result of the weak economic environment and the decline in the company's share price, which fell 60% in 2008.

Including the one-time item, Macy's 2008 loss totaled $4.8 billion, or $11.40 per share.

Macy's does not expect the charge to affect its business, bank credit agreement or bond indentures.

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