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Kohl's Corp. (KSS) - Get Kohl's Corporation Report posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Tuesday, and said it would buyback as much as $500 million in shares this year, as the department store chain notched solid same store sales over the holiday period.

Kohl's said earnings for the three months ending on February 2 came in at $2.24 each, up nearly 20% from the same period last year and 6 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group sales, Kohl's said, fell 3.3% to $6.823 billion but were also ahead of analysts' estimates of $6.68 billion. Same store sales, Kohl's said, rose 1% from last year, well ahead of the 0.3% estimate compiled by Refinitiv.

Looking into 2019, Kohl's said it sees same store sales either flat to last year or rising by 2%, and said it plans to repurchase between $400 million and $500 million in company stock.

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"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," said CEO Michelle Gass continued. "I want to thank all of our Kohl's associates for another successful year of strong execution and great performance. Moreover, I thank them for their commitment to providing an engaging, enjoyable experience to our customers."

Kohl's shares were marked 7.4% higher at the start of trading Tuesday and changing hands at $71.38 each, a move that still leaves the stock with a six month decline of around 13%.