Discount retailer Kohl's bottom line beat Street forecasts and it stuck to its Q4 guidance - in sharp contrast to Macy's disappointing Q3 the day before. Jeanne Yurman reports.
Retailer Kohl's out with a third quarter profit which beat Wall Street forecasts. Net income came in at .75 per share - six cents better than analysts' targets on sales that climbed more than one percent. The results are in sharp contrast to rival Macy's, which set alarm bells ringing in the retail sector Wednesday after reporting a surprise drop in sales. In a press release, CEO Kevin Mansell said: "Our 1% increase in sales was driven by strong back-to-school and late October selling periods offset by a weak September. Most of our key initiatives enjoyed strong success while weakness was concentrated in seasonal businesses." Macy's had said that warmer-than-usual weather was hurting sales of cold weather items. It cut guidance for the fourth quarter - the all-important holiday sales season - predicting heavy promotions to unload extra inventory. On a conference call Kohl's executives said weather was an issue but they are sticking to their guidance for sales to climb as much as three percent in the fourth quarter. They said they feel they are well positioned because they have aggressively controlled inventory levels coming into the fourth quarter. And they expect strong growth in online orders to add to the top line.