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Kohl's November Comps Decline

Zacks Equity Research

Department store Kohl’s Corporation (KSS) posted a decline in same-store sales results for the month of November. Total sales for the period decreased, partially due to Superstorm Sandy and also as result of a shift towards e-commerce sales.

Kohl’s comparable store sales declined 5.6% for the four-weeks ended November 24, 2012 versus a decline of 6.2% in the four-week month ended November 26, 2011. Kohl’s total sales dipped 4.9% in the month of November 2012 to $1.84 billion compared with a decline of 4.9% to $1.93 billion in the year-ago month.

Sales declined in all the regions, with Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions strongly affected due to Superstorm Sandy. Though sales improved over the Thanksgiving week and in the e-commerce channel, the company was significantly impacted by the overall sluggish sales.

Kohl’s reported third quarter results on November 8. The company’s net sales climbed 2.6% year over year to $4.5 billion in the third quarter of 2012 owing to a 1.1% year-over-year increase in comparable store sales.

Kohl’s also stated that it expects sales growth in a range of 7% to 8% while comparable-store sales are expected to increase 3% to 4% for the fourth quarter of 2012. However, the company’s negative same store sales in the month of November might lead to negative same-store sales for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Currently, we maintain a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. Kohl’s holds a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating) while its peer Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) holds a Zacks #2 Rank (short-term Buy rating), having posted positive sales and comparable store sales in the month of November.

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