AP News

Kohl's cuts 4Q forecast on website costs

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (AP) — Kohl's cut its fourth-quarter earnings forecast, saying it had unexpected expenses related to online shopping. A key sales measure also fell in January.

The retailer said Thursday that sales at stores open at least a year fell 2 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter, which runs from November through January. While the metric, an important one for retailers, rose 0.8 percent in November and December, it slumped last month. Kohl's blamed the sales drop on traffic declines and not having much merchandise on clearance.

Kohl's now anticipates quarterly earnings of about $1.53 per share, down from a prior range of $1.59 to $1.74 per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet predict earnings of $1.62 per share.

Several major retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., have cut their fourth-quarter outlooks. Heavy discounting and bad weather across much of the country have hurt results.

Investors may have expected worse from Kohl's. The company's shares rose $1.75, or 3.5 percent, to $51.58 in morning trading.

The Menomonee Falls, Wis., company will report its full fourth-quarter financial results on Feb. 27.

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