March 5, 2019 / 12:21 PM / 16 days ago

Kohl's profit view beats forecast as tie-ups, new items lure shoppers

(Reuters) - Kohl’s Corp forecast full-year profit above Wall Street estimates on Tuesday, as partnerships with Amazon and a range of new brands attract more shoppers.

FILE PHOTO - A sign marks a Kohl's store in Medford, Massachusetts, U.S., February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The company’s shares rose 5.3 percent to $70 in early trading, also getting a boost after the company beat Wall Street estimates for same-store sales and profit in the fourth quarter.

Kohl’s has been investing in several new partnerships to bring in more shoppers. It signed a deal with Amazon to display its Echo dot speakers and Kindle e-readers in its stores, while it partnered with millennial-focused Popsugar to launch a new line of clothes.

Earlier this year, Kohl’s teamed up with Weight Watchers to promote a healthy lifestyle through workshops and events at its Chicago store, which is expected to push sales of kitchenware and cookware.

“I definitely think Kohl’s initiatives are working,” Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough said, pointing to several factors including improvements in its loyalty program and the partnership with Amazon.

For the three months ended Feb. 2, Kohl’s sales at stores open for more than a year rose 1 percent, above the 0.3 percent Wall Street had expected.

In contrast, last week Macy’s Inc reported same-store sales growth that rose an anemic 0.7 percent, but missed Wall Street forecasts. Target Corp posted a 5.3 percent rise in sales and beat expectations.

Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based Kohl’s projected earnings of $5.80 to $6.15 per share for fiscal year 2019. Analysts were expecting $5.77, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

“We are financially strong and our overall health in the business is positioning us well for continued success,” Chief Executive Officer Michelle Gass said.

The company also said it would close four underperforming stores in April, which will be replaced with smaller format stores.

Excluding one-time items, Kohl’s earned $2.24 per share in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2, beating the average analyst estimate of $2.18.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and James Emmanuel

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