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Macy's emerges from pandemic by swinging to surprise profit

Macy’s emerged from an unprecedented year with a surprising swing back into the profit column and it and boosted its guidance for all of 2021.

Shares jumped 7% before the opening bell Tuesday.

The retailer on Tuesday posted net income of $103 million after massive losses during the same period last year when stores were forced to lock their doors in an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19.

On a per-share basis, the New York company's net income was 32 cents, or 39 cents if one-time charges are removed. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 39 cents per share, when Wall Street was looking for losses of about 41 cents per share, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue of $4.71 billion also exceeded analyst projections.

Macy’s expects full-year revenue in the range of $21.73 billion to $22.23 billion, up from its previous projections of $19.75 billion to $20.75 billion.

Macy's has pushed much of its sales online and expects digital sales to reach $10 billion within the next three years, but noted that online sales are two to three times higher in markets where Macy’s stores exist.

During the pandemic, the company pared back inventory and closed some stores. It also launched curbside pickup last year and is expanding its off-price concept BackStage.