Kohl's Earnings Top Estimates, but Retailer Trims Outlook

kohl's earningsKohl's Corp. (KSS) reported better-than-expected earnings Thursday on improved sales. But the department-store operator trimmed its yearly outlook due to rising costs and slowing sales growth.

The retailer said its second-quarter earnings rose nearly 14% to $260 million, or 84 cents a share, from $229 million, or 75 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected earnings of 82 cents per share.

Quarterly sales increased 7.7% to $4.1 billion, pretty much in line with Wall Street estimates. Same-store sales rose 4.6% in the quarter.

"We continue to gain market share as reflected in our performance in both comparable and total sales growth. This sales performance, along with strong inventory management, allowed us to continue to increase our gross margin rate," said chairman, president and CEO Kevin Mansell. "We are particularly pleased by our leverage in store payroll and marketing which offset our important long-term investment in e-commerce in the second quarter and resulted in us delivering a better overall expense result."

For the third quarter, the company expects total sales to grow 4.5% to 6.5%, comparable store sales to increase 2% to 4%, and a profit in the range of 57 cents to 63 cents a share. Analysts expected third-quarter earnings of 74 cents a share.

For the full year, the company trimmed the top end of its earnings range and now project earnings at a range of $3.57 to $3.70 a share. Earlier guidance was $3.57 to $3.75 per share. Analysts, on average, expected $3.76 a share.
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