Feb 27, 2009
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Kohl's full-year outlook disappoints

Feb 27, 2009

* Sees challenging '09, EPS $2.00-$2.30; Street sees $2.82

* Q4 net EPS $1.10, tops Street view $1.03

* Q4 sales down 4.6 percent to $5.2 bln

* Shares down 6.4 percent in extended trade (Recasts with estimates, share move and outlook details)

NEW YORK, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Kohl's Corp (KSS.N) posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, but its shares fell 6.1 percent after the U.S. department store chain forecast a full-year profit below Wall Street estimates.

Kohl's, like other retailers such as Macy's Inc (M.N) and J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP.N), has been hurt as consumers curb spending on clothes and home goods, or have sought deep discounts on items they do buy. [nN24342025]

Kohl's net profit fell to $336 million or $1.10 a share in the fiscal fourth quarter that ended Jan. 31, compared with a profit of $412 million or $1.31 a share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, expected it to earn $1.03 a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Sales at the mid-priced home goods and apparel retailer dropped 4.6 percent to $5.2 billion.

Joining a series of retailers who do not see any near-term relief from the economic downturn, Kohl's said it expects 2009 to be "just as challenging from a macro-economic perspective."

For the current fiscal year, Kohl's said it expects to earn $2.00 to $2.30 a share, and sales to decline between 1 percent and 4 percent. Analysts had expected a profit of $2.82 per share for the year.

For the first quarter, Kohl's expects earnings of 27 cents to 34 cents a share on a same-store sales decline of 5 percent to 8 percent. Analysts expect the company to earn 34 cents a share for the current quarter.

"We are planning conservatively in our sales expectations, inventory levels and expenses," Kohl's Chief Executive Kevin Mansell said in a statement.

Still, Kohl's said it would open about 55 stores and remodel 51 others in the current fiscal year, in sharp contrast to other retailers who are closing stores or keeping a tight lid on their growth plans to conserve cash.

Kohl's said it would "be very competitive" to gain its share of consumers in the recession.

Its shares slipped $2.10 to $32.60 in after-hours trading from a closing price of $34.70 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Aarthi Sivaraman; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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