Menomonee Falls, WI—Kohl’s Corp. reported today that its fourth quarter profit fell 12% as sales weakened in the holiday quarter.
For the quarter ended Feb., the department store posted a profit of $334 million, or $1.56 a share, compared with a profit of $378 million, or $1.66 a share, a year ago. That was below Kohl’s own forecast but still enough to beat analysts’ estimate for $1.54 a share.
Net revenue fell 12% to $6.1 billion which was in line with analysts’ forecasts. Comparable store sales were down 2% (also in line with estimates).
But Maintained Margin
Kohl’s is amid a change in its merchandise strategy to move away from an assortment dominated by its exclusive brands and add a wider selection of national brands.
According to Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman/president/ceo, November/December holiday sales showed consumers were responding favorably to the new
Moreover, “despite increased shipping costs related to our e-commerce business, we were able to achieve our gross margin guidance for the quarter. We believe our inventory levels and assortment are well-positioned as we transition into the spring season,” Mansell added.
Indeed, Kohl’s gross margin widened to 34% from 33.3%.
For its 2013 totals, Kohl’s earned $889 million, or $4.05 a share, vs. $986 million, or $4.17 a share, in 2012. Annual revenue edged down 1% to $19.03 billion as comp store sales fell 1.2%.
Looking toward 2014, Kohl’s forecast full year earnings of $4.05 to $4.45 a share with revenue expected to rise 0.5% to 2.5%, or about $19.12 billion to $19.5 billion.
Analysts forecast full-year earnings of $4.40 a share on revenue of $19.34 billion.