Retail giant Federated Department Stores Inc on Wednesday posted first quarter earnings above expectations with diluted earnings per share of 43 cents - well above its original guidance of 25-30 cents a share for the quarter. The Cincinnati-based company said operating income for the period was $221 million, or 6.4 per cent of sales, versus operating income of $178m, or five per cent of sales, in 2001, including restructuring charges of $223m, or 6.3 per cent of sales excluding those charges.