Kohl’s Q4 Earnings Are Proof It Wasn’t All Bad for Department Stores During the Holidays

Shares for Kohl’s Corp. are jumping in early-morning trading as investors cheer new signs that the holiday season turned out stronger than expected for some retailers.

As of 10 a.m. ET, the department store’s shares were in the green close to 6 percent to $70.19 after it posted fourth-quarter sales and profits that significantly topped analysts’ forecasts.

While Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based company’s sales during the period dipped 3.3 percent to $6.82 billion, they handily beat the $6.58 billion market watchers projected. Its comps also edged up 1 percent in Q4 as, according to CEO Michelle Gass, the firm built on an “exceptional” 2017 holiday season to achieve a 7 percent increase in the fourth quarter on a two-year basis.

Still, surging profits at Kohl’s during the most recent quarter are likely making investors most bullish. The company said its Q4 adjusted profits advanced 17 percent year over year to $366 million, or $2.24 per diluted share, besting the $2.18 per share analysts forecasted.

“With a clear focus on driving traffic and operating with discipline, the company is delivering sales growth while also improving profitability, We are financially strong, and our overall health in the business is positioning us well for continued success,” Gass added.

For the full year, Kohl’s sales improved less than 1 percent to $20.2 billion, while adjusted earnings were $927 million, or $5.60 per diluted share — a 32 percent gain over 2017.

Looking ahead, the company expects earnings per diluted share of $5.80 to $6.15 for fiscal 2019, with comparable sales flat to up 2 percent.

Target Corp. today also posted better-than-expected profits — thanks to its efforts during the critical holiday period.

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