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Lower costs helps Kohl’s beat Street in Q3


Kohl’s Corp. reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit amid expense controls that helped make up for lower sales.

The chain reaffirmed its full-year profit forecast.

Kohl’s net income rose 21.7% to $146 million, or 83 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Oct. 29. Excluding items, Kohl's earned 80 cents per share.

Sales decreased 2.3% to $4.33 billion from $4.3 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales fell 1.7% during the quarter.

Kohl’s kept a tight rein on inventory in the quarter, which limited discounting. Gross margins rose 2 basis points to 37.1 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses fell 2%.

“Our teams did an excellent job managing inventory,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl's chairman, CEO and president. “Expenses were also well-controlled as substantially all teams outperformed their plans."

Mansell said the chain is seeing continued improvement in its sales trends.

“Our back-to-school season was strong, followed by a soft September, and progressive improvement throughout October,” he said. “We are encouraged by these trends as we enter the holiday season.”

The company ended the quarter with 1,155 Kohl's stores, 12 Fila Outlet stores and three Off/Aisle clearance centers in 49 states.
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