MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. (AP) — Kohl's Corp. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income dropped 17 percent, as the department store chain resorted to price cuts to sell more merchandise, reducing its profitability.
While the results beat Wall Street predictions, the company issued weaker than expected earnings predictions for the current quarter and all of 2013. Its shares slipped in morning trading.
For the quarter ended Feb. 2, Kohl's earned $378 million, or $1.66 per share, down from $455 million, or $1.81 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue rose 5.4 percent to $6.34 billion from $6.02 billion.
Analysts, on average, expected earnings of $1.64 per share on $6.33 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.
Kohl's said the bulk of its sales came late in the quarter after much of its inventory had been discounted, resulting in lower profitability.
The company's revenue at stores open at least a year increased 1.9 percent for the quarter. The metric is a key measure of a retailer's health, because it excludes revenue from stores that recently opened or closed.
For the full year, Kohl's earned $986 million, or $4.17 per share, down from $1.17 billion, or $4.30 per share, in 2011. Revenue rose to $19.28 billion from $18.8 billion.
Kohl's projected a first-quarter profit of 55 cents to 63 cents per share on sales growth of between 0.5 percent and 2.5 percent. Based on the company's year-ago sales of $4.24 billion, the guidance implies sales of $4.26 billion to $4.35 billion.
Analysts expected higher earnings of 65 cents per share on $4.32 billion in revenue.
For 2013, Kohl's said it expects to earn $4.15 to $4.45 per share on sales growth of flat to 2 percent. Based on the company's 2012 results, the guidance implies 2013 revenue of $19.28 billion to $19.66 billion.
Analysts expected higher earnings of $4.48 per share on $19.45 billion in revenue.
Kohl's shares fell 62 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $45.99 in morning trading Thursday. Its shares are up from a 52-week low of $41.35 in early January. They peaked for the past year at $55.25 in November.