Kohl’s Is the Latest Retailer With Strong Earnings. Its Stock Is Down.

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Target, Walmart, and Macy’s also reported strong results.

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Kohl’s first-quarter results easily topped analyst expectations as shoppers continue to show their eagerness to revamp their closets.

For the fiscal quarter ending May 1, Kohl’s (ticker: KSS) posted earnings of nine cents a share on revenue of $3.9 billion, well ahead of the two cents and $3.7 billion projected by analysts surveyed by FactSet. After adjusting for the extinguishment of debt and impairments, Kohl’s earned $1.05. At this time last year, when many stores were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kohl’s lost $3.52 per share from $2.4 billion in revenue.

In light of its positive first-quarter results, Kohl’s also lifted its financial forecasts for 2021. It now expects net sales to grow in the mid-to-high teens, compared with previous guidance in the midteens range. Kohl’s also expects to see marked improvement in earnings per share, now forecasting a range of $3.80 to $4.20, compared with previous expectations of $2.45 to $2.95.

Kohl’s shares are up 48% this year. They slid 8% in premarket trading, despite the better-than-expected results and improved forecast.

“We saw momentum build through the quarter, especially in our stores where we continue to elevate the experience. We are eagerly preparing for the upcoming launch of our Sephora partnership as well as the introduction of several new exciting brands this fall,”
Michelle Gass,
Kohl’s chief executive, said in a statement.

Kohl’s results come on the heels of other positive reports from


(WMT), Target (TGT), and Macy’s (M), which all showed sharp year-over-over gains and strong demand from U.S. consumers. While most apparel-focused retailers faced challenges over the past year, Kohl’s was also targeted by activist investors, who criticized the company for a long history of lackluster sales. Kohl’s reached an agreement with the activists last month. 

A call with analysts is scheduled for 9 a.m. Eastern time.

Write to Carleton English at

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