Cotton prices hit Macy’s and Ralph Lauren

RISING cotton prices and other costs took a toll on quarterly margins at Macy’s and Ralph Lauren, though both companies still beat Wall Street earnings estimates as Ralph Lauren’s revenue exceeded expectations and Macy’s sales gains continued to outpace those of its rivals.

Macy’s, whose fleet includes about 810 namesake stores and the upscale Bloomingdale’s chain, reported net income of $139m (£87.4m) for the third quarter to 29 October, twice what Wall Street was expecting.

Still, Macy’s only raised its full-year profit outlook by 10 cents a share.

Ralph Lauren, whose brands include Polo, Club Monaco and Chaps, said net income rose to $233.5m in the second quarter ended on 1 October from $205.2m a year earlier. Analysts on average had forecast $2.24 a share.

Ralph Lauren expects revenue to rise at a low-teens percentage rate this quarter, prompting it to raise its full-year sales forecast.