Kohl’s January sales were significantly lower than planned as a result of lower traffic and low levels of clearance merchandise.
Comparable-store sales decreased 2%. Combined November and December same-store sales increased 0.8%.
Unanticipated expenses in servicing its e-commerce business led to higher-than-expected costs for the quarter. As a result of these expenses, the company 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.
The company will release its detailed report on the fourth quarter Feb. 27. Kohl’s operates 1,158 stores in 49 states.