Kohl's Profit Up, but Misses Estimates

Kohl's Corp. (KSS) on Thursday reported a higher first-quarter profit as same-store sales rose at the department store retailer.

The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based company, which runs a chain of mid-priced department stores, posted net income of $124.7 million, or 36 cents per share, for the first quarter, compared with $103.1 million, or 30 cents, a year earlier.

Both periods reflect the company's decision to begin expensing stock options earlier than required and correct the way it accounts for leases.

Analysts, on average, had expected per-share earnings of 37 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Gross margin rose slightly to 35.8 percent.

Net sales jumped 15.2 percent to $2.7 billion in the quarter, while sales at stores open at least one year, a key measure known as same-store sales, rose 3.7 percent.

Kohl's (search) also said its decision to begin expensing all stock-based compensation means it will restate prior years' results. The restatements for each of the fiscal 2004 quarters will be included in its 2005 quarterly filings, Kohl's said.

Looking ahead, the company said it is still targeting earnings growth of about 20 percent over its restated 2004 results and expects a per-share profit for fiscal 2005 to be in the range of $2.40 to $2.50.

The Wall Street view was for a full-year 2005 per-share profit of $2.45.