Federated Department Stores Inc, parent company of Macy's and Bloomingdales, on Wednesday reported a huge loss for the third quarter, hurt by after sluggish sales and problems at its Fingerhut catalog business.Excluding these charges, however, Cincinnati-based Federated reported earnings that beat consensus estimates for the quarter, posting a per share profit of 26 cents, well above the 20 cents a share Wall Street analysts had been expecting.The net loss for the quarter was $668m, or $3.32 a share, including $795m in charges associated with the company's previously announced restructuring of its Fingerhut direct-to-consumer business. That compared with net income of $123m, or 59 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.Sales for the quarter rose 1.4 per cent to $4.2bn from $4.14bn a year-ago. Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least one year, rose 1.9 per cent for the quarter. Shares of Federated, which reported its earnings prior to the market open, closed at $34-7/16 on Tuesday.(C) Reuters Limited 2000.