Kohl’s shares fall despite topping earnings and sales expectations

Published on: 21 Aug, 2018

Shares of Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS) plunged on Tuesday despite reporting fiscal second-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street profit and sales estimates and raising its profit outlook for the year.

Department store chains like Kohl’s and Macy’s Inc. (NYSE:M) have been trying to increase online sales as Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been dominating the apparel and appliance industries. While the number of shoppers at malls is diminishing, analysts believe that consumer confidence and a record low unemployment rate in the U.S. will give many retailers a boost as the holiday season approaches.

Before Tuesday’s losses, Kohl’s stock had previously risen more than 110% from a year ago, bringing the Company’s market cap to nearly USD 13.2 Billion. Macy’s shares saw a similar drop this week even though the retailer posted strong results and its stock value had grew 90% over 12 months.

Unlike other retailers, Kohl’s now sells the Amazon Echo, among other tech devices, and has also started accepting returns for the digital retailer at a handful of its stores across the U.S. Chief Executive Officer Michelle Gass said Tuesday during a call with analysts and investors that Kohl's has been "very pleased" with customers' reactions to the pilot test.

Its new initiatives appear to be paying off and serving as a traffic driver, retail analysts say. Kohl's profit surged 40.4% for the quarter ended Aug. 4th to USD 292 Million, or USD 1.76 per share, compared with USD 208 Million, or USD 1.24 a share, a year ago. Analysts expected earnings of USD 1.64 a share, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters. Revenue climbed 4% to USD 4.57 Billion, again ahead of the USD 4.26 Billion forecast by analysts.

Sales at Kohl's stores opened for at least 12 months were up 3.1%, better than the 2.7% increase that analysts were expecting. The Company said online sales increased at a mid-teens percentage rate, fueled by purchases made on mobile devices.

Although Kohl's shares were falling more than 4% in early trading Tuesday, some retail analysts are still optimistic about future growth prospects.

"What excites [us] most about the story is the Company's potential pipeline of multi-year traffic drivers, including its Amazon Returns partnership and subleasing excess space to other high-frequency concepts," Gordon Haskett analyst, Chuck Grom said.

Looking to the full year, Kohl's now expects to earn between USD 4.96 and USD 5.36 per share, compared with a prior range of between USD 4.86 and USD 5.31 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were calling for earnings per share of USD 5.39 in fiscal 2018.

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Austin Chiu

Email: Austin@financialinsiders.com

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