Department store operator Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE:KSS) said Thursday its third-quarter profit rose 20%, helped by cost cuts, and demand for exclusive brands such as lines by Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.
Kohl’s based out of Menomonee Falls, said net income rose to $211 million, or 80 cents per share. That’s up from $176 million or 57 cents per share a year ago and matched analyst expectations, according to FactSet. Revenue rose 4% to $4.38 billion from $4.22 billion last year, also roughly matching analysts’ expectations. Revenue in stores open at least one year rose 2.1%. The measure is considered a key gauge of a retailer’s performance.
Kohl’s said it expects fourth quarter net income of $1.93 to $2.04 per share on a revenue rise of 4- 6%, implying revenue of $6.28 billion to $6.4 billion. Analysts expect earnings of $1.96 per share on revenue of $6.3 billion. For the full year, Kohl’s now expects net income of $4.34 to $4.49 per share. Analysts expect $4.46 per share.
Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “I am extremely pleased with our ability to deliver strong net income and earnings per share growth in a challenging sales environment. Our gross margin rate increased over last year as a result of our increased penetration of private and exclusive brands and disciplined inventory management. We are pleased with the expense management discipline across the company that allowed us to grow our expenses less than we originally planned.”
Mansell added, “The launch of our Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony brands during the quarter met our aggressive sales plans. We expect our collection of powerful brands supported by significant marketing investments, especially in broadcast and digital media, to deliver a strong Holiday season.”
Kohl’s operates 1,127 stores in 49 states.
Shares rose $1.71, or 3.2 percent, to $56 in pre-market trading. The stock has been flat for the year.