Kohl's 4th-quarter performance beats Wall Street's view as key sales metric improves



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MENOMONEE FALLS, Wisconsin — Kohl's fiscal fourth-quarter profit climbed as sales improved during the holiday shopping season.

The Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based department-store chain also boosted its quarterly dividend by 15 percent.

Kohl's Corp. earned $369 million, or $1.83 per share, for the period ended Jan. 31. That compares with $334 million, or $1.56 per share, a year ago.

The results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.80 per share.

The company reported revenue of $6.34 billion in the period, also surpassing Wall Street forecasts. Analysts expected $6.3 billion, according to Zacks.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key indicator of a retailer's health, climbed 3.7 percent. This metric excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

For the year, the company reported a profit of $867 million, or $4.24 per share. Revenue came in at $19.02 billion.

Kohl's expects 2015 earnings to be $4.40 to $4.60 per share. Revenue is targeted to rise 1.8 percent to 2.8 percent, with sales at stores open at least a year projected to climb 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent. Analysts polled by FactSet expect earnings $4.55 per share.

The chain said its quarterly dividend of 45 cents per share will be paid on March 25 to shareholders of record on March 11.

Kohl's had 1,162 stores in 49 states at the end of fiscal 2014.

Its stock gained $1.26 to $72.16 in midday trading.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on KSS at http://www.zacks.com/ap/KSS

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Keywords: Kohl's, Earnings Report

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