Kohl’s reports Q2 2019 earnings beat expectations, but sales miss

Customers pull a dinnerware set from a shopping cart outside of a Kohl’s store in Peru, Illinois.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Kohl’s said Tuesday a strong start to the back-to-school season and new partnership with Amazon helped it beat Wall Street earnings expectations during the second quarter.

The company’s shares gained had jumped as much as 6.3% in premarket trading but then fell about 4% after the market opened.

Here’s how the company did, compared with what Wall Street was expecting, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: $1.55, vs. $1.53 estimated
  • Net sales: $4.17 billion, vs. $4.2 billion estimated
  • Same store sales: down 2.9%, vs. down 2.5% estimated

“We are pleased to report that our business strengthened as we progressed through the second quarter,” CEO Michelle Gass said in the earnings release. “Comparable sales were better than the first quarter and improved during the period, turning positive during the last six weeks of the second quarter with 1% growth.”

Net income for the quarter ended Aug. 4 slid more than 17% to $241 million, or $1.51 per share, down from $292 million, or $1.76 a share, a year earlier. Net sales fell to $4.17 billion compared with $4.3 billion the previous year. Sales at stores open more than a year fell 2.9%, wider than Wall Street’s estimates of a 2.5% decrease.

Kohl’s announced in April plans to accept Amazon returns at all of its stores, growing its partnership with the e-commerce giant in an attempt to increase foot traffic. The companies’ relationship began in the spring of 2017, when Kohl’s began selling Amazon gadgets like the Fire TV and Echo Dot.

“We are confident that our upcoming brand launches, program expansions, and increased traffic from the Amazon returns program will incrementally contribute to our performance during the balance of the year and beyond,” Gass said.

More recently, the company announced a deal with Fanatics to sell items such as licensed NFL jerseys and NBA T-shirts online. The partnership made Fanatics the exclusive distributor of all licensed sports apparel and accessories for Kohl’s. The initiative is part of a larger push into sports apparel by the retailer. It has also started lease out its own excess real estate to gym operator Planet Fitness, which will open locations next door to Kohl’s.

The company’s stock has tumbled more than 27% since January, bringing its market value to around $7.8 billion.

Correction: This story was corrected to reflect that Kohl’s net sales, not total revenue, missed Wall Street estimates.

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