Nordstrom is classified as an Upscale Independent Department Store Chain and is noted as one of the largest department stores of its type. Nordstrom is founded in 1901 by two partners, John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin. It’s headquartered is in Seattle, Washington area. Nordstrom carries a wide variety of merchandise and specialty goods, which includes apparel, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances, handbags, accessories, and in some locations, home furnishings. Nordstrom is dealing with competition on many different levels. It is competing with higher-end stores such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. In addition, it is also competing with second-tier stores such as Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Bloomingdale’s. Dealing with the diverse competition, upscale retailer Nordstrom has been famous for superior customer service for over 100 years and has been recognized on every 100 Best Companies To Work For list published in Fortune magazine since 1998. Nordstrom operates over 200 retail locations across the country with a worldwide revenue of $10. 9 billion in 2011.
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It has two reportable segments: Retail and Credit. The Retail segment includes 115 ‘ Nordstrom’ full-line stores, 89 off-price ‘ Nordstrom Rack’ stores, two ‘ Jeffrey’ boutiques, and one clearance store that operate under the name ‘ Last Chance. ’ Nordstrom full-line stores and online stores are substantially integrated to provide customers with a seamless shopping experience across channels. The Nordstrom Rack stores purchase high-quality name brand merchandise directly from vendors and also serve as outlets for clearance merchandise from Nordstrom stores. The Credit segment includes a wholly-owned federal savings bank, Nordstrom FSB, through which Nordstrom provides a private label credit card, two Nordstrom VISA credit cards and a debit card for Nordstrom purchases. The credit and debit cards feature a shopping-basedloyaltyprogram designed to increase customer visits and spending. Although the primary purpose of our Credit business is to foster greater customer loyalty and drive more sales, Nordstrom also generates revenues throughfinancecharges and other fees on these cards.
In retail department stores, consumer purchases are made within each department because each department is treated separately to achieve economies in promotion, buying, service, and control. Instead of categorizing departments by merchandise, Nordstrom created fashion departments that fit individual lifestyles. The retailer’s best customers benefit from Nordstrom’s ” Perpetual Inventory” initiative, which provides the ” right product, at the right place, at the right time. Nordstrom’s customer service is superior in that they put maintaining a customer relationship their top priority. Its main goal is to provide outstanding service every day, one customer, at a time, and support the employees who deliver service to those customers. Each Nordstrom employee has a business card, which he or she gives to customers, to encourage them to reach back directly if they need anything. In addition, Nordstrom spends much less on traditional advertising than its competitors do, and to Nordstrom, “ satisfied customers are much more persuasive than an ad”. Its legendary customer service is a competitive advantage that can’t be easily duplicated, and the company spends a lot of time, money, and effort training employees to maintain that distinction. Even in times of economic distress, Nordstrom still maintains an unwavering commitment to making choices that are in the best interest of the customer. Therefore, Nordstrom keeps growing and maintains a great financial result in comparison with other department stores.
Nordstrom’s business strategies are
- Maintaining a good relationship with vendors and consumers
- Maintaining a good relationship with employees and providing effective training to them to develop future leaders
- Expanding into new markets, technological investments, acquisitions, and the timely completion of construction associated with newly planned stores, relocations and remodels.
- Having effective inventory management; efficient and proper allocation of capital resources; successful execution of informationtechnologystrategy; and effective cost control in advertising, marketing, and promotion campaigns.
- Managing debt levels to maintain an investment-grade credit rating as well as operate with an efficient capital structure for its growth plans and industry
II. Company financial ratio analysis:
|Current Ratio||2. 16||2. 57||02. 01||02. 01||02. 06|
|Cash Ratio||0. 73||0. 80||0. 39||0. 04||0. 22|
|Cash Flow from Operations Ratio||0. 46||0. 63||0. 62||0. 53||0. 19|
Overall regards to liquidity ratios, the higher the number the better; however, a too high also indicates that the firms were not using their resources to their full potential. The current ratio of 1. or greater shows that a company can pay its current liabilities with its current assets. JWN’s ratio increased from 2. 06 in 2007 to 2. 57 in 2010, and slightly decreased to 2. 16 in 2011. JWN’s cash ratio increased significantly from 22% in 2007 to 80% in 2010. JWN has a cash ratio of 73% in 2011, which is useful to creditors when deciding how much debt they would be willing to extend to JWN. In addition, JWN also has a moderate CFO ratio of 46%, indicating the companies’ ability to pay off their short term liabilities with their operating cash flow. There was a great improvement in JWN’s liquidity ratios over the past 5 years. In general, JWN has efficient liquidity ratios that allow the company to cover its seasonal cash needs and to maintain appropriate levels of short term borrowings.
|Inventory Turnover||6. 20||6. 29||5. 93||5. 84||5. 66|
|Avg. # of Days Inventory||58. 83||58. 03||61. 59||62. 53||64. 50|
|Receivables Turnover||05. 06||4. 51||4. 16||4. 60||7. 35|
|Working Capital Turnover||3. 67||3. 67||4. 52||5. 13||5. 98|
I Inventory turnover shows how efficient a firm can keep its inventory turning at a steady flow from the manufacturer to the store and out to the consumer. Therefore, the higher the better because this means the firm is getting its inventory out to consumers at a more efficient pace. JWN’s inventory turnover is approximately the same in 2011 than in 2010, 6. 20, and 6. 29 respectively, which has slightly higher the number of days inventory from 58 days to 59 days. Same as inventory turnover ratio, AR turnover shows how efficient a firm is at collecting its receivable.
The faster a firm can collect its receivables, the better. JWN’s AR turnover has increased from 4. 78 in 2010 to 5. 36 in 2011. An increase in both inventory and AR turnover reduces the Length of the Operating Cycle from 139 days to 131 days. In addition, there is also a good sign when JWN’s fixed asset turnover and total asset turnover increase. In general, JWN has the ability to predict or respond to changes in fashion trends, consumer preferences, and spending patterns, and to match its merchandise levels, mix and shopping experience to sales trends and consumer tastes, significantly impact its sales and operating results. Upon evaluation of the operating efficiency, Gross profit margin, Return on sale, ROA, and ROE, JWN did a pretty good job during the fiscal year ended Jan 28th, 2012. Gross profit margin, the net profit margin, ROA, and ROE have the same rate for 2011 and 2010, which are 39%, 6%, 9%, and 34% respectively. By evaluating JWN’s profitability ratio, JWN once again is upward-looking.
ROA is a comprehensive measure of profitability, taking into account how a firm’s assets and profits are used to create future profit. ROE is a profitability measure and is influenced by the affiliation between a firm’s debt and its owner’s equity. JWN has done an extraordinary job at maintaining a moderate ROA and ROE ratio over 5 years period. Analyzing JWN’s profitability ratio shows that JWN should continue being profitable in the future.
|Total Liabilities / Total Equity||3. 34||2. 69||3. 19||3. 68||04. 02|
|Total Liabilities (BV) / Equity at Market||0. 7||0. 48||0. 44||0. 39||0. 39|
|Times Interest Earned||9. 61||8. 80||4. 16||06. 04||5. 95|
As the firm’s debt grows larger, the debt to equity ratio in turn increases. The debt to equity ratio is an important factor in considering a firm’s credit risk. JWN’s debt to equity ratio increases 25% from 2. 69 in 2010 to 3. 34 in 2011. If this ratio decreases, there is less leverage within the firm. The increase in debt to equity ratio is due to the increase in long term debts and the decrease in total stockholder equity. Times interest earned ratio is a coverage measure; an increase has a positive impact on the firm. There was a significant decrease in the Time interest earned ratio from 16. 85 in 2007 to 5. 95 in 2008. However, this ratio increased slightly over the years. JWN’s Times interest earned has increased from 8. 80 in 2010 to 9. 61 in 2011. Ultimately, JWN generates more than enough income before interest and tax to cover for its interest expense.
5. Market-related statistics: Like many luxury stores, Nordstrom has seen its sales rebound since late 2009 as well-heeled shoppers have become more comfortable with spending, despite volatility in the stock market. Nordstrom also has worked hard to make it easier to shop by adding Wi-Fi access for shoppers at all of its full-line department stores, offering free shipping on most items without any minimum purchase in September 2010, and fusing its online and in-store inventory systems so shoppers can find out online what’s in stock at any given store in the chain. Nordstrom said it expects revenue at its stores open at least a year to rise 4 percent to 6 percent in the current full fiscal year, and it expects to earn $3. 30 to $3. 45 per share.
JWN analyzes its dividend payout ratio and dividend yield, while taking into consideration its operating performance and capital resources, and plans to target a 25% to 30% dividend payout ratio is 2011. JWN has increased its dividend payout ratio and its dividend yield in 2011, 29%, and 1. 9 % respectively. JWN paid dividends of $0. 92 per share in 2011, $0. 76 per share in 2010, and $. 64 per share in each of 2009 and 2008.
6. Quality of financial information Nordstrom uses a more moderate strategy when it comes to its accounting policies.
It basically uses similar basic standards as other firms in the industry. Management and select employees of Nordstrom receive stock options and bonuses based on how profitable and how much growth the company is, which may lead to intentional accounting distortion to increase these benefits. Although distortion would be beneficial to management, the standards used by Nordstrom to account for stock issued to employees seem well disclosed and straight forward. Compared to the accounting policies and estimates used in the past five years, Nordstrom has not significantly changed any of its accounting standards. Estimates such as returns are based on past returns and performance and have not altered much in recent years. Nordstrom uses its historical data to estimate future performance for the use of the inventory account. Nordstrom’s accounting policies and estimates seem to have no significant distortions. The changes in policies are well recorded and explained in the footnotes, leaving no concern about their accounting policies. The changes in policies accounting standards and estimates all seem to be legitimate. The manner in which Nordstrom discloses their financial information to the public is of extremely high quality.
Nordstrom exceeds their expectation of providing customers and shareholders with an adequate explanation for nearly every element of their finances. After the presentation of eachfinancial statement, Nordstrom provides a detailed clarification concerning each component listed in a manner that could be easily interpreted by the common inquirer. In general, Nordstrom effectively communicates its activities with its investors and is relatively free of unpredictable or unexplainable transactions.
III. Comparison to the industry average and another store (Dillards)
Both JWN and DDS maintained an efficient liquidity ratio which allowed them to cover their seasonal cash needs and to maintain appropriate levels of short term borrowings. DDS does not generate as much profit as JWN but it also has a much lower leverage ratio than JWN. JWN has a much higher debt to equity ratio than the industry average. However, its Time Interest Earned ratio is better than the industry. JWN’s activity ratio seems to be better than DDS, but below the industry average. JWN’s Beta is 1. 57 which theoretically indicates 57% more volatile than the market. DDS’s Beta is 2. 53 which is. 96 higher than JWN’s Beta and also means more volatile than the market. A beta of greater than 1 offers the possibility of a higher rate of return but also poses more risk. In addition, JWN also has a much higher dividend payout ratio and dividend yield than DDS.
In general, JWN has a higher rate of return and less volatile than DDS. JWN has a higher dividend yield and a lower dividend payout ratio than the industry average. The growth and income pick pays an industry-leading dividend yield of 1. 90%. Its ROE and Net profit margin are also higher than the industry average. Nordstrom clearly has a higher return than its competitor and is likely to be more profitable than its competitor and industry. In comparison with DDS and the industry average, it is apparent that there are no concerns with the accounting for the components of JWN ratios. JWN has consistently somewhat outperformed its competitor and the industry average. In its industry, JWN is apparently a leader in utilizing its capital to create value for the firm, creating profits, and increasing shareholder value IV. Growth in revenue and income. YoY growth in net income| (Average)| 11. 42%| Nordstrom generates revenues from its credit segment, which consists of a wholly-owned federal savings bank that offers Nordstrom VISA credit and debit cards, and a private label card. Nordstrom also profits from its Faconnable boutiques located in France, Portugal, Belgium, and the U.
S. The remaining revenues are brought in by the retail store segment; the stores specialize in high-quality apparel, shoes, cosmetics, and accessories. JWN’s revenue for 2011 increased 12. 7% compared with 2010 driven by the strength of Nordstrom full-line stores, rapid growth in its online business, and improving results at Nordstrom Rack. JWN opened three Nordstrom full-line stores, eighteen Nordstrom Rack stores, and one Treasure & bond store, relocated two Nordstrom Rack stores, and acquired HauteLook during the year 2011. These additions represented 4. 0% of its total revenue for 2011. Same-store sales increased
7. 2%, with increases of 8. 2% at Nordstrom and 3. 7% at Nordstrom Rack. Nordstrom’s revenue was in a range of $8 billion to 11 billion from 2007 to 2011. There was a slight decrease or increase in revenue over 5 years period. Nordstrom’s net income was in a range of $401 mil to $715 mil. There is a significant decrease in the 2007 net income. It went from $715 mil to $401 mil, which is approximately a 44% decrease in net income. However, its net income increased dramatically in 2010, from $441 mil in 2009 to $613 mil in 2010, which is a nearly 40% increase in net income. In order to predict an accurate forecast for Nordstrom’s Income Statement, Statement of Cash Flows, and Balance sheet, a sustainable growth rate is needed. After examining Nordstrom’s past performance and computing past growth rates on Nordstrom’s finances, Nordstrom has an average growth in revenue and net income 12. 13% and 11. 42% respectively. With a risk-free rate of 3. 0%, the market rate of 10%, and JWN’s Beta 1. 58, Nordstrom has a rate of return of 14% and a growth rate of 10%. The growth rate of 10% is slightly lower than the forecasted growth rate of 11. 42% in net income and 12. 13% in revenue, based on its past 5 years of financial information. With the growth rate of 10%, the discount rate of 14% of the CAPM model is high enough for Nordstrom. Without the growth rate, a discount rate of 14% is too low because the capital market and market price per share will be $4679 million and $22. JWN’s market capital and market price per share are actually $11, 453 million and $55/ respectively.
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With a growth rate of 10%, JWN will have a 14% rate of return. VI. Recommendation about stock After evaluating Nordstrom’s past performance and forecast its future growth, there should be a “ BUY” in Nordstrom stock. Nordstrom has established itself as a high-end apparel retailing company. Nordstrom has founded itself upon excellent customer service and an unmatched reputation. Its main competitors are Saks, Dillard’s, and Neiman Marcus. Nordstrom’s accounting policies are moderate and very well disclosed; they leave no room for any potential red flags to be raised. Nordstrom’s transparent accounting policies show that the managers have confidence in the firm and its ability to perform. No distortion is used in their statements proving the firm’s high integrity standards. Upon completion of Nordstrom’s ratio analysis, it is apparent that there should be no concerns as to how Nordstrom compares to its competition. In most cases, Nordstrom was either average or stood above the competition. There were very few cases where Nordstrom fell behind in its market. Nordstrom would grow at an average of 10% percent per year. This is shown through increasing sales and the expansion of new stores. Nordstrom has $10, 877 million net revenue, $683 million net income, EPS $3. 15, and dividend $. 90/share in fiscal 2012. Nordstrom is expected to have $11, 705 Million net revenue, $735 million net income, EPS $3. 48 and dividend $. 90 per share during the fiscal year 2013. JWN recently acquired online private sales leader HauteLook Inc, which will help the company in building its multi-channel retail format. The acquisition will facilitate Nordstrom to increase its direct business capabilities, implement an enterprise-wide inventory management system, direct sales to online customers and enhance customer service.
JWN’s operations are based on a variable cost business model and about 40% to 45% of selling, general, and administrative expenses are variable in nature. This flexible cost structure not only helps the company to mitigate the impact of sluggish sales trends on margins but also enables it to quickly capitalize on the emerging opportunities when market conditions recover. Consequently, Nordstrom can expect a steady improvement in profitability moving forward. Nordstrom has 8. 6% increase in same-store sales for the five-week period ended March 31st, 2012 compared with the five-week period ended April 2nd, 2012. Total retail sales of $1. 03 billion for March 2012 increased 14. 7% compared with total retail sales of $897 million for the same period in the fiscal year 2011. In addition, Nordstrom has a 7. 1% increase in same-store sales for the four-week period ended April 28th, 2012 compared with the four-week period ended April 30th, 2011. Preliminary total retail sales of $802 million for April 2012 increased 10. 5% compared with total retail sales of $726 million for the same period in fiscal 2011. First-quarter same-store sales increased 8. 5% compared with the same period in fiscal 2011. First-quarter total retail sales of $2. 53 billion increased 13. 7% compared with total retail sales of $2. 23 billion for the same period in fiscal 2011. In addition, JWN also invests 16. 4 million USD in Bonobos, an exclusive brand of men? s clothes that sell pants and other clothes online. Nordstrom will also sell Bonobos products through its online store and through more than 100 brick and mortar stores. This move is one of Nordstrom? s efforts to capitalize on the growth opportunities and innovation potential that the web provides, which reflects a smart decision from a dynamic management team.