Kohl’s cuts annual profit forecast after disappointing results; shares slump

Kohl’s cuts annual profit forecast after disappointing results; shares slump

FILE PHOTO: A sign marks a Kohl’s store in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S., February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

(Reuters) – Kohl’s Corp (KSS.N) cut its annual profit outlook on Tuesday ahead of the all-important holiday season, after the department store operator’s quarterly comparable sales and earnings missed analysts’ estimates, sending its shares down 12%.

The company’s results come at a time when U.S. department stores are struggling with changing consumer preferences and a shift to online shopping, leading to the bankruptcies of Sears and luxury retailer Barneys New York.

As buyers increasingly shift online, Kohl’s earlier this year partnered with Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), allowing customers to return at its stores products bought on the online retailer’s website.

The tie-up, through which Kohl’s aims to attract more shoppers, has been extended to all its 1,000 outlets in the United States following a successful pilot.

The partnership could hurt Kohl’s profit and gross margin, with no guarantee of purchases when a shopper visits a store to return the order, analysts have said.

Kohl’s said it now expects full-year adjusted earnings to be between $4.75 and $4.95 per share, compared to its previous forecast of $5.15 to $5.45.

In the third quarter, sales from stores open for at least a year rose 0.40% , while analysts on average had expected same-store sales to increase 0.76%, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

On an adjusted basis, the retailer earned 74 cents per share in the third quarter ended Nov. 2. Analysts were expecting a profit of 86 cents per share.

Net income fell to $123 million, or 78 cents per share, in the quarter, from $161 million, or 98 cents per share, a year earlier.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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