CINCINNATI (AP) -- Macy's said Thursday that exceptionally strong Thanksgiving weekend sales weren't enough to offset a slow start to November partially stemming from Superstorm Sandy.
The Cincinnati-based department store chain said its revenue at stores open at least a year fell 0.7 percent.
The drop surprised Wall Street. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected an increase of 1.5 percent.
The metric is a key measure of a retailer's health, because it excludes revenue at stores that recently opened or closed.
Despite the drop, Macy's said sales picked up as the month progressed and that it ended November with record Thanksgiving weekend sales volume.
Macy's said it remains on track to meet its sales expectations for the fourth quarter. It backed its prediction for quarterly earnings of $1.94 to $1.99 per share, on a same-store sales increase of about 4.2 percent.
Analysts, on average, expect fourth-quarter profit of $2.01 per share, according to FactSet. Analyst estimates range from $1.94 to $2.09,
Total sales for the four-week period ended Nov. 26 edged down 0.6 percent to $2.45 billion from $2.46 billion. Online sales, which are included in the company's revenue at stores open at least a year, jumped 39.2 percent.
For the year-to-date, Macy Inc.'s said its revenue at stores open at least a year increased 3.1 percent. Total sales rose 3.2 percent to $20.79 billion and included a 37.1 percent jump in online sales.
Macy's shares fell 83 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $39.53 in premarket trading. The stock has changed hands between $30.38 and $42.17 in the past 52 weeks.