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Kohl's Results Miss Estimates, Backs Full Year EPS View

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Department store chain Kohl's Corp. (KSS) Thursday reported a decline in first-quarter profit, amid an over 3 percent fall in sales, with comparable store sales showing a sharp drop. The company said it was encouraged by the improvement in sales as the quarter progressed, and backed its full year earnings outlook.

Net income fell to $125 million or $0.60 per share from last year's $147 million or $0.66 per share. On average, 23 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings per share of $0.62 for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Sales slid 3.1 percent to $4.07 billion from the prior-year's $4.2 billion. Analysts estimated revenues of $4.22 billion.

Comparable store sales showed a decline of 3.4 percent compared to a decline of 1.9 percent last year.

Kohl's Chairman, President and Chief Executive said, "We did not achieve our first quarter sales goals, but we were encouraged by the improvement in sales as the quarter progressed. Our teams managed our inventory levels appropriately and expenses were controlled throughout the organization during the quarter."

The retailer ended the quarter with 1,160 stores in 49 states, compared with 1,155 stores at the same time last year. The company opened four new store locations, relocated one store and permanently closed two stores during the period.

Looking ahead, the company still expects earnings per share of $4.05 - $4.45 for fiscal 2014. Analysts project earnings per share of $4.30 for the year.

On May 14, Kohl's board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.39 per share, payable June 25 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 11.

KSS closed down 3.3 percent on Wednesday at $54.03.

by RTT Staff Writer

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