Kohl's 4Q Profit Climbs 14%

Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) revealed on Thursday a stronger-than-expected increase in fourth-quarter profit, helped by an uptick in demand partially driven by new and renovated stores and tighter expenses.

The department-store operator posted net income of $493 million, or $1.66 a share, compared with $431 million, or $1.40 a share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue for the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based company was $6 billion, up 6.3% from the year-earlier, driven by a 4.3% increase in comparable store sales.

“We clearly outperformed our direct competition for the year, achieving the highest total sales increase for the year, leading to the largest market share gain,” Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell. “Expenses were well managed while improving the store experience for our customers.”

Reflecting an optimistic outlook, the retailer’s board of directors declared on Wednesday a quarterly dividend of 25 cents a share payable on March 30 to shareholders of record on March 9, and announced its plan to open another 40 stores and remodel 100 in 2011.

Looking ahead, Mansell said the company will remain focused on increasing market share and strengthening its e-commerce business. Kohl’s sees full-year earnings in the range of $4.05 to $4.25 a share, on a sales increase of 4% to 6%, slightly below Wall Street estimates of $4.35.