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Kohl’s 1Q profit jumps, new CEO boosts outlook

NEW YORK — Kohl’s caught on to the wave of rising consumer spending during the first quarter, reporting healthier profits and revenue, while raising its earnings outlook for the year.

A quirk in the company’s calendar took some of the shine off what was otherwise a very strong start to the year.

Same-store sales, a key measure of a retailer’s health, rose 3.6 percent. That boost, though, came partly from a sales event shift during the quarter. The company said in a conference call that there would also be a positive impact in the second-quarter from the event, but that it could depress numbers in the second half.

Shares tumbled more than 6 percent in midday trading.

Profit at the Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, company rose 13.6 percent to $75 million, or 45 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted to account for extinguished debt, were 64 cents per share, easily surpassing Wall Street projections for 49 cents, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue rose 3.5 percent to $4.2 billion, also topping expectations for $3.95 billion.

Traditional retailers have had a difficult time following the U.S. consumer and determining what it is that they want. Kohl’s and other stores have scaled back their physical footprint while expanding their online services.

Kohl’s has tested small-concept stores and is partnering with Amazon.com, accepting returns for goods bought on its site and it’s also selling some Amazon technology in limited locations.

Kohl’s expects full-year earnings in the range of $5.05 to $5.50 per share, up from prior guidance of $4.95 to $5.45 per share. Analysts polled by Factset forecast profit of $5.26 per share for the year.