Kohl's posts earnings boost in Q3, updates outlook

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. — Kohl’s third quarter sales increased 2.6% to $4.5 billion, and comparable-store sales were up 1.1%, in line with the company's expectations.

The retailer's net income for the third quarter rose 14% to 91 cents per diluted share. Net income was $215 million compared with $211 million, or 80 cents per diluted share, a year ago.

Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and CEO, said, “Our sales performance in the third quarter was consistent with our expectations, while our gross margin results were better than expected. Thanks to our dedicated teams, expenses were again well-managed. We have made noticeable investments in holiday inventory - both in depth and content - and the in-store experience. Our stores are festive and fun to shop. We are also very excited about our expanded gift strategy and our ability to offer great products at great values."

Kohl’s ended the quarter with 1,146 stores in 49 states, compared with 1,127 stores at the same time last year. During the year, the company opened 21 new stores, including 1 relocated store, closed 1 store and completed 50 remodels.

Kohl's now expects earnings per diluted share for fiscal 2012 to range from $4.52 to $4.60 versus its previous guidance of $4.50 to $4.65 per diluted share.  For the fourth quarter, the company expects earnings per diluted share to be between $2 and $2.08, total sales growth to be bet