Federated Plans Name Change
New York City, Federated Department Stores on Tuesday said it would ask shareholders to approve changing the company’s corporate name to Macy’s Group Inc. A vote to amend the corporation’s charter to accommodate the new name will be held in conjunction with Federated’s annual meeting on May 18. If approved, the company will be known as Macy’s Group Inc., effective June 1. The move comes on the heels of the company changing most of its store nameplates to Macy’s.
“Macy’s Group is the appropriate name for our company, given that about 90% of our sales involve the Macy’s brand. That said, Bloomingdale’s is—and will remain—a very important part of our company,” said Terry J. Lundgren, Federated’s chief executive. Federated Department Stores also said stronger sales at established stores and lower costs drove a 5% rise in fourth-quarter earnings. For the quarter ended Feb. 3, net income rose to $733 million from $699 million the prior-year period. Sales fell 4% to $9.16 billion from $9.57 billion, as the company shuttered 80 “duplicative” store locations. Comp-store sales rose 6.1% in the quarter.
During the quarter, Federated lowered its selling, general and administrative costs 11% to $2.31 billion.
The company also announced a $4 billion increase to its stock buyback program and said it will immediately repurchase 45 million shares for $2 billion under the plan.
Claire’s Stores Shares Decline
New York City, Shares of accessories retailer Claire’s Stores Inc. dropped on Monday, after the New York Post said the company is having trouble finding a buyer. The report said that according to unnamed sources, several possible buyers have dropped out of an auction for the company.
Shares fell $2.55, or 7.3% to $32.42 during midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has traded between $23.88 and $37.49 during the past 52 weeks.
In December, the company said it retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. as a financial adviser to aid in exploring the possible sale of the company.
Claire’s also said its January comp-store sales rose 3%.
Nordstrom Adopts Majority Vote Standard
New York City, Nordstrom Inc. said Friday it is implementing a majority vote standard for board members in uncontested elections. The new voting standard replaces the plurality standard, under which candidates who receive the most votes win, regardless of whether they received a majority of votes, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Directors who do not receive the majority of votes are expected to resign from the board. The company said it will still use the plurality standard if the number of nominees exceeds the number of directors to be elected.
The company also changed the size of the board from a fixed number of directors—it had been nine—to a range of nine to 12 directors.