Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Kohl's Corp. (NYSE: KSS ) was one of the few stocks to open higher Thursday, following the company's Q2 earnings report, which showed Kohl's earning $1.04 per diluted share on $4.3 billion in sales -- with same-store sales rising 0.9%.
Sales in Q2 2013 were up 2% over 2012 levels, while earnings grew twice as fast. Kohl's CEO Kevin Mansell was quoted as saying he was "pleased with our progress in the second quarter," adding that "sales improved significantly over the first quarter and our gross margin improved over last year. Expenses were well-managed and we ended the quarter with inventory per store up mid-single digits while funding our E-Commerce growth."
Kohl’s ended the quarter with 1,155 stores in 49 states, compared with 1,134 stores at the same time last year, a 1.9% increase.
Nonetheless, Kohl's results missed per-share earnings estimates of $1.05 by a penny, while sales results barely matched expectations. Furthermore, Kohl's ratcheted back earnings expectations for the full year, leaving the floor at $4.15 per share in place, but lowering the ceiling by $0.10 to $4.35 per share.
Investors are bidding up Kohl's shares by 5.3% as of this writing, with shares trading at $53.40.
The board also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.35 per share, payable Sept. 25 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Sept. 11. That matches the previous payout.