KOHLS/

(REUTERS)

Kohl's Profit Forecast to Miss Analyst Estimates

Industries Reuters

U.S. department store operator Kohl's forecast full-year earnings largely below analysts' average estimate and warned that sales could fall this year.

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The company also said it will close 18 underperforming stores in 2016, which represent less than 1 percent of total sales.

Kohl's, which has 1,164 stores, expects to take a charge of about $150 million to $170 million related to the closures and its elimination of three senior positions, including chief digital officer, announced this month.

Kohl's forecast earnings of $4.05 to $4.25 per share for the year ending January 2017, largely below the average analyst estimate of $4.24 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

It also forecast full-year sales to fall or grow by only up to 0.5 percent.

Kohl's said this month that sales at stores open at least a year rose 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 30, and total sales rose only 0.8 percent as unseasonably warm weather hurt sales of cold-weather goods.

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Kohl's net income fell to $296 million, or $1.58 per share in the quarter, from $369 million, or $1.83 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.58 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.56 per share.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)