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Kohl's 4Q income up 14%

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. -- Kohl’s reported that net income for the fourth quarter increased 14% to $493 million, or $1.66 per diluted share, compared with $431 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, a year ago. Net sales were $6 billion, an increase of 6.3% for the quarter. Comparable-store sales for the quarter increased 4.3%.

For the year, net income was $1.1 billion, or $3.65 per diluted share, compared with $991 million, or $3.23 per diluted share, for fiscal 2009. Net sales increased 7.1% to $18.4 billion. Comparable-store sales increased 4.4% over the prior year.

Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “We clearly outperformed our direct competition for the year, achieving the highest total sales increase for the year, leading to the largest market share gain. We improved our merchandise margins significantly through strong inventory management and successful private and exclusive brand strategies. Expenses were well managed while improving the store experience for our customers. I am very proud of our 130,000 associates and the role they played in these results and want to thank them for their hard work, loyalty and dedication in delivering on our promise to ‘expect great things’ from Kohl’s."

Kohl’s ended the year with 1,089 stores in 49 states.

Based on assumptions of a total sales increase of 4% to 6% and a comparable-store sales increase of 2% to 4% for fiscal 2011. The company expects earnings per diluted share of $4.05 to $4.25 for the year. For the first fiscal quarter, the company expects earnings per diluted share of 68 cents to 73 cents based on assumptions of a total sales increase of 4% to 6% and a comparable-store sales increase of 2% to 4%.