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Discount retailer


(KSS) - Get Kohl's Corporation Report

posted a 34% jump in third-quarter earnings per share Thursday, as cool weather in October helped sales to rebound.

Kohl's reported a profit of 39 cents a share in the third quarter on sales of $2.1 billion. Last year, the company generated earnings of 29 cents a share on sales of $1.8 billion. Analysts had expected the firm to earn 37 cents.

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After a disappointing sales performance in September, Kohl's lowered its third-quarter estimate to between 34 cents and 35 cents a share. But last week, the firm said its original estimate of 37 cents was achievable, as same-store sales jumped 18% in October due to an unexpected cold snap, which sparked demand for seasonal merchandise.

Same-store sales rose 5.9% in the quarter.

"We are extremely pleased with our sales performance for October and the third quarter," said Chief Executive Larry Montgomery. "All seasonal apparel businesses were significantly above last year, with all major merchandise classifications delivering double-digit comparable-store sales increases."

Montgomery also noted that all geographic regions achieved double-digit same-store sales growth for October. "We continue to increase market share in all regions, improve gross margin performance and reduce our SG&A expense rate."

Kohl's said it opened 37 new stores in the third quarter and plans to add 80 stores next year.