FINANCE

Kohl’s Q4 same-store sales decline, lowers guidance

BY Dan Berthiaume

Menomonee Falls, Wis. – Kohl’s Corp on Thursday lowered its profit forecast for the fourth quarter after the retailer reported a 2% decrease in same-store sales in January.

Combined November and December same-store sales rose 0.8%, but the company said January sales were significantly lower than planned as a result of lower traffic and low levels of clearance merchandise.

Unanticipated expenses in servicing Kohl’s e-commerce business led to higher than expected costs for the quarter. As a result of these expenses, Kohl’s is lowering its fourth quarter diluted earnings per share estimates from $1.59 to $1.74 to approximately $1.53. Fiscal 2013 diluted earnings per share are now expected to be approximately $4.03, compared to previous guidance of $4.08 to $4.23.

Kohl’s will release its detailed report on the fourth quarter and full year as scheduled on Feb. 27, 2014.

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FINANCE

Costco tops estimates as January same-store sales rise 4%

BY Marianne Wilson

Issaquah, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Club’s same-store sales rose 4% in January, topping analysts’ expectations. The metric rose 5% in the United States, and was 1% internationally.

Removing the impact of lower gas prices and foreign currency fluctuations, same-store sales were up 6%, rising 5% in the United States and 8% overseas.

For the 22 weeks ended Feb. 2, Costco reported net sales of $46.3 billion, representing a similar increase of 6% versus the year-ago period.

The company plans to release its operating results for the second quarter on Thursday, March 6.

Costco currently operates 649 warehouses, including 462 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 87 in Canada, 33 in Mexico, 25 in the United Kingdom, 18 in Japan, 10 in Taiwan, nine in Korea and five in Australia. Costco also operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico.

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L Brands January same-store sales up 9%; boosts Q4 estimate

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – L Brands reported a 9% increase in same-store sales for January. Analysts had expected an increase of 0.5%. The chain boosted its fourth-quarter earnings estimate.

Net sales for the 13-week fourth quarter, ended Feb.1, 2014, were $3.82 billion versus $3.86 billion in the 14-week year-ago quarter. Net sales were $3.8 billion for the 13 week fourth quarter ended Feb. 1, 2014 essentially flat with last year. Same-store sales were up 1%.

L Brands reported a same-store sales increase of 2% for the 52 week year ended Feb. 1, 2014. Net sales were $10.773 billion for year, compared to $10.459 billion for the 53 weeks ended Feb. 2, 2013.

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