Nordstrom income up 20%

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SEATTLE Nordstrom (JWN) said Thursday its fourth-quarter net income rose 20 percent as high-end shoppers kept spending on clothing and makeup, and customers responded positively to its service improvements.

But annual guidance disappointed investors and Nordstrom's shares fell 2 percent in aftermarket trading.

Luxury spending has stayed strong despite the uncertain economy. Nordstrom has also improved customer service with free shipping offers and checkouts via mobile devices anywhere in the store.

Top performing categories included men's, women's and kids clothing as well as makeup. Online sales were a strong point, up 31 percent and surpassing $1 billion for the first time.

The Seattle-based retailer's net income for the three months ended Feb. 2 rose to $284 million, or $1.40 per share, from $236 million or $1.11 per share a year ago. That beat analysts' expectations of $1.35 per share.

Revenue rose 13 percent to $3.7 billion, which matched analysts' expectations.

Sales in stores open at least a year rose by 6.3 percent. The measure is a key gauge of a retailer's financial health because it excludes stores that opened or closed during the year.

For the full year, net income rose 8 percent to $735 million, or $3.56 per share, from $683 million, or $3.14 per share.

Revenue rose 12 percent to $12.1 billion from $11.76 billion a year ago.

For the upcoming fiscal year, Nordstrom expects net income of $3.65 to $3.80 per share on revenue up 4.5 percent to 6.5 percent. Analysts expect net income of $3.97 per share.

Shares fell $1.12 to $53.40 in aftermarket trading, after ending the regular trading session down 63 cents at $54.42.