Macy's Inc (NYSE:M) said quarterly sales at stores open at least a year fell less than it had expected and that it has started contacting potentially interested parties for partnerships or joint ventures for its flagship and mall-based properties.
The department store operator's shares were up 5.7 percent at $43.40 in premarket trading on Tuesday.
Activist investor Starboard Value LP has been pressing the retailer, which operates the Bloomingdale's and Macy's store chains, since last July to spin off its highly prized real estate assets, which it values at $21 billion.
"There has been a high degree of initial interest at this preliminary stage but it is premature to comment further at this point," Macy's said in a statement on Tuesday.
Macy's reported a 4.3 percent decline in sales at stores open at least a year in the fourth quarter, slightly better than the 4.7 percent fall it had estimated, helped by improving sales due to colder weather in January.
The company had said in January that holidays sales were challenged due to warm weather, which also hurt sales at rivals Nordstrom Inc (NYSE:JWN) and Kohl's Corp (NYSE:KSS).
Macy's said sales trend improved in January as the weather turned colder in northern climate zones and Macy's and Bloomingdale's were well-stocked in coats, boots, sweaters, gloves, hats and other seasonal goods.
The company's net income fell to $543 million, or $1.73 per share, in the three months ended Jan. 30, from $793 million, or $2.26 per share, a year earlier.
Net sales fell 5.3 percent to $8.87 billion, but beat analysts average estimate of $8.83 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.