Kohl's same-store sales miss on delayed back-to-school shopping

Reuters

Department store operator Kohl's Corp reported lower-than-expected quarterly same-store sales as consumers delayed back-to-school shopping due to a shift in tax holidays to August.

Shares of the company, which reported second-quarter sales and profit below analysts' average estimates, fell 7.3 percent to $57 in premarket trading on Thursday.

Continue Reading Below

U.S. states offer a three-day sales tax holiday on back-to-school purchases. The tax holiday has shifted to August from July in most states this year.

Same-store sales rose only 0.1 percent for the quarter ended Aug. 1, much lower than the 1.7 percent rise expected by analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix.

"Our sales results were below our plan as the shift of sales in tax-free states from July into August was larger than anticipated," Kohl's Chief Executive Kevin Mansell said in a statement.

Kohl's largely caters to low- to middle-income customers for whom tax benefits are important for discretionary spending.

Lower spending on apparel and accessories and a general slowdown in consumer spending could also hurt Kohl's second quarter, analysts had warned.

Macy's Inc said on Wednesday that consumers were spending more on restaurants, recreational services, healthcare and electronics rather than on general merchandise, apparel and furnishings.

The operator of Macy's and the upscale Bloomingdale's chains reported second-quarter profit and sales below estimates and cut its sales forecast, hurt by heavy discounts and a strong dollar that curbed spending by foreign tourists.

Kohl's net income fell 44 percent to $130 million, or 66 cents per share, in the quarter ended Aug. 1. The company incurred a loss of about $170 million due to debt refinancing.

Excluding items, it earned $1.07 per share, missing analysts' average estimate of $1.16 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales rose 0.6 percent to $4.27 billion, but was below the average analyst estimate of $4.31 billion.

Excluding the impact of debt extinguishment, Kohl's now expects 2015 earnings to be at the low end of its forecast range of $4.40-$4.60 per share.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)