August 14, 2014 / 2:49 PM / 5 years ago

Kohl's profit beats estimates as costs fall

(Reuters) - Department store chain Kohl’s Corp reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as costs fell, sending its shares up 3.4 percent in premarket trading.

The sign outside a Kohl's store is seen in Broomfield, Colorado February 27, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

The company said selling, general and administrative costs fell about 2 percent to $981 million in the second quarter. Cost of goods sold fell 1 percent.

Kohl’s, which caters to price-sensitive middle-class shoppers and competes with Macy’s Inc, J.C. Penney Co Inc and Nordstrom Inc, said net sales fell 1.1 percent to $4.24 billion.

Comparable-store sales fell 1.3 percent as growth in July failed to offset weak sales in May and June.

Analysts on average had expected a decline of 0.6 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Bigger rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Thursday cut its full-year profit forecast, citing higher employee healthcare costs and increased investment in its online business.

Macy’s cut its full-year same-store sales forecast on Wednesday.

Kohl’s net income rose marginally to $232 million, or $1.13 per share, for the quarter ended August 2, from $231 million, or $1.04 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.07 per share on revenue of $4.28 billion.

Kohl’s shares closed at $55.11 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Reporting by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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