posted lower fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday that nevertheless exceeded analysts' expectations by a penny amid strong same-store sales.

The Troy, Mich., retailer said earnings were $249 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with $412 million, or 77 cents a share, for the 13-weeks ended Jan. 26, 2000. According to

First Call/Thomson Financial

, 17 analysts expected Kmart to earn 47 cents a share for the period.

Same-store sales grew 3.3% from the same period last year.

Revenue for the quarter was $11.6 billion, up 4.8% from $11.1 billion last year.

Shares of Kmart ended Monday on $9.15 on the

New York Stock Exchange