FINANCE

Kohl’s profit rises14% in Q4

BY CSA STAFF

Menomonee Falls, Wis. — Kohl’s Corp. reported Thursday that its fourth quarter net earnings rose 14% and the board authorized the first dividend in the company’s history. But the chain said consumers will remain cautious in 2011 and gave a full-year earnings forecast below Wall Street’s expectations.

Kohl’s said that income the quarter ended Jan. 29 increased to $493 million from $431 million a year earlier, slightly ahead of predictions. Revenue rose 6% to $6.04 billion from $5.68 billion, in line with projections.

Same-store sales rose 4.3%.

For the year, net income rose 12% to $1.11 billion. Revenue rose 7% to $18.39 billion, from $17.18 billion last year.

“In 2011, we expect consumers to remain very interested in value and ways to make their dollars go further," said CEO Kevin Mansell.

Kohl’s announced its first dividend Wednesday and said Thursday that it was boosting its buyback program.

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FINANCE

Limited’s reports 27% profit surge

BY CSA STAFF

Columbus, Ohio — Limited Brands reported Thursday that its jumped 27% to $452.3 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $356.1 million in the year-ago period, on strong sales and healthy margins.

The parent to Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works previously announced that revenues for the quarter ended Jan. 29 rose 13% to $3.46 billion, beating Wall Street’s estimate. Same-store sales increased 10%.

For the full year, net sales were $9.613 billion compared with net sales of $8.632 billion last year. Same-store sales rose 9%.

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Zale Corp. Q2 profit more than quadruples on improved sales

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas — Zale Corp. said Thursday that net income for the quarter ended Jan. 31 surged to $27.2 million, compared with $6.7 million a year earlier.

Zale, which has struggled to regain profitability as the economy improves, posted net income of $27.2 million compared with $6.7 million, or 21 cents per share a year ago. Sales rose to $626.4 million for the quarter, from $582.3 million. Same-store sale rose 7.9%, compared with a decrease of 11.2% during the comparable period in the prior year.

The results included interest expenses and a $6 million income tax expense. In the comparable quarter a year ago, Zale posted a $12 million tax benefit.

Zale said the quarter marked a turning point because same-store sales turned positive.

"Our financial performance for the critical second quarter reflects the collaborative efforts of our total organization focusing on one objective — delivering a successful holiday," CEO Theo Killion said in a statement. "In doing so, we’ve taken an important step toward our goal of returning to profitability."

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