Kohl’s offers mixed picture for holiday quarter

NEW YORK — Kohl’s Corp. delivered a better assessment of fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, but a key sales measure was down more than analysts expected.

The department store chain, based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., said today that preliminary earnings for the quarter ended Jan. 30 are in the range of $1 to $1.05 per share. Analysts expected 70 cents per share, according to FactSet. Sale at stores opened at least a year were down 11%. Analysts had expected a 7.9% drop.

Online sales growth rose more than 20%, and accounted for more than 40% of net sales, Kohl’s said.

In a statement, Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass attributed the better-than-expected earnings results to its managing expenses tightly. She also noted that initiatives like its partnership with beauty chain Sephora will help boost sales.

In December, Kohl’s announced it would replace its cosmetic areas with Sephora, starting with 200 locations this fall. It will expand to at least 850 stores by 2023.

Kohl’s expected to report its final financial results on March 2.