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Kohl's Posts Penny Beat

Sales rise 13.7% to $3.11 billion.
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earnings rose 15.3% from last year thanks to sales and margin improvement at the department store chain.

Kohl's earned $155.1 million, or 45 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $134.6 million, or 39 cents a share, last year. Sales rose 13.7% to $3.11 billion, while gross margin was 36.3% in the latest quarter, up from 35.9%.

Analysts had been forecasting earnings of 44 cents a share on sales of $3.13 billion in the latest quarter.

"We are pleased with our performance on the gross margin line as a result of continued focus on inventory management," Kohl's said. "Our expenses were on plan and allowed us to make investments in marketing some of our new merchandise brands that will pay dividends in the fourth quarter.

"We believe we are well-positioned for the holiday season in terms of content and level of inventory, our in-store shopping environment and our marketing and advertising calendar."

The stock added 71 cents, or 1.4%, to $49.12 in the after-hours session.