Not So Happy Holidays for Kohl's After Earnings

Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) released its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Tuesday. The retailer said that it had $0.74 in earnings per share (EPS) and $4.625 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $0.86 in EPS and $4.4 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $0.98 in EPS and $4.628 billion in revenue.

For the latest quarter, Kohl’s posted an increase in comparable sales of 0.4%, which comes in lower than last year’s increase of 2.5%.

The board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.67 per share on Kohl’s common stock. The dividend is payable December 24, to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 11.

In terms of guidance, the company now expects adjusted annual EPS to be $4.75 to $4.95, down from its prior guidance of $5.15 to $5.45. Consensus estimates call for $5.19 in EPS and $18.99 billion in revenue for the full fiscal year.

Michelle Gass, Kohl’s CEO, commented:

We are pleased to report that our business returned to growth during the third quarter, with a comparable sales increase of 0.4%. The quarter started off positive in August with another successful back-to-school season and ended strong in October. We enter the holiday period with momentum and are strategically increasing our investments to take advantage of the unique opportunity to fuel growth and customer acquisition. We believe that investing in the short-term will support our strategies to drive profitable growth over the long-term.

Shares of Kohl’s closed Monday at $58.40, in a 52-week range of $43.33 to $75.91. The consensus price target is $56.29. Following the announcement, the stock was down about 12% at $51.25 in early trading indications Tuesday.