Kohl's Discloses 7.9% Slide in 4Q Net, Gloomy Guidance

By RetailFOXBusiness

Hurt by slumping same-store sales, department store Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) said Thursday it suffered a 7.9% slump in fourth-quarter earnings and unveiled a full-year profit forecast that disappointed.

In the wake of the report, shares of the retailer retreated more than 3% early Thursday.

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Kohl’s said it earned $455 million, or $1.81 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $494 million, or $1.66 a share, a year earlier. Analysts had been calling for EPS of $1.80.

As was previously reported, total sales slipped 0.3% to $6.02 billion, essentially matching the Street’s view. Same-store sales declined 2.1%. Gross margins contracted to 36.2% from 36.8%.

“I am pleased that 2011 was another year of profitability and earnings per share growth for our shareholders,” CEO Kevin Mansell said in a statement. “We were able to navigate a difficult holiday sales season through strong expense and inventory management.”

Looking ahead, Kohl’s projected full-year earnings of $4.75 a share, which would significantly miss consensus calls from analysts for $4.95. Total sales are projected to rise 4.5%, while same-store sales are seen increasing 2%.

For the current quarter, Kohl’s said it expects to earn 60 cents a share and same-store sales to rise 1%. Wall Street had been expecting EPS of 77 cents.

Meanwhile, Kohl’s said its board has signed off on a plan to boost its quarterly dividend by 28% to 32 cents a share.

Shares of Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Kohl’s slumped 5% early Thursday, eating into their 2012 gain of almost 6%.

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