May Department StoresThis St. Louis-based retailer, one...


May Department Stores

This St. Louis-based retailer, one of the largest in the country and the parent of the Hecht's department store chain, posted a 5 percent decline in net income and a modest gain in revenues for its first quarter, which ended May 4.

The company said that weak sales have continued into 1991 and that it is keeping a close eye on inventory levels and expenses.

Analysts said that May's tight expense control resulted in better-than-expected operating margins.

May had 326 department stores and 3,004 specialty stores at the end of the first quarter.

Three months ended 5/04/91

Revenue ... Net ... Share

'91 ... 2,313,000,000 ... 76,000,000 ... 0.56

'90 ... 2,197,000,000 ... 80,000,000 ... 0.58

% change ... +5.3 ... -5.0 ... -3.4

The Rouse Co.

The Rouse Co. released figures showing that its first-quarter earnings before depreciation and deferred taxes were down slightly from the same period a year ago on revenues that were up 12.4 percent.

The company's net loss increased from $603,000 in the first quarter of 1990 to $3,524,000 for the same three months of this year, with part of the increase due to the company's decision to repurchase some of its preferred stock with debt. The rest was due to increased depreciation related to the opening of new projects.

Robert Frank, senior real estate analyst for Alex. Brown & Sons, said the earnings report was in line with his company's projections, which were for a weak retail quarter. March sales were stronger than sales in January and February, he said, and Rouse's land sales in Columbia were stronger than expected.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mathias J. DeVito stated that "1991 earnings will probably fall short of 1990's overall results. However, our operating properties are continuing to show resilence in these difficult times, and the company is, particularly relative to the real estate industry, in an excellent position to benefit as the overall economic picture improves."

Three months ended 3/31/91

Revenues ... Net* ... Share

'91 ... 134,280,000 ... 10,686,000 ... (0.07)

'90 ... 119,491,000 ... 10,844,000 ... (0.02)

% change ... +12.4 ... -1.5 ... --

* Figures reflect total earnings before depreciation and deferred taxes.

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