Kohl’s on Thursday reported holiday sales growth that paled in comparison to its results in 2017, sending shares tumbling.
The retailer said sales at its stores and website operating for at least 12 months, on a shifted basis, rose 1.2 percent over the 2018 holiday shopping season. That’s compared with growth of nearly 7 percent during the same time a year before.
Kohl’s shares tumbled more than 6 percent in pre-market trading on the news, as the weaker sales growth wasn’t enough to appease investors, even as Kohl’s raised its full-year profit outlook.
CEO Michelle Gass said the company was pleased with reporting a “very strong holiday” on top of “last year’s exceptional holiday season.” She added the retailer saw double-digit sales growth online this past November and December.
Gass had told CNBC last November that Kohl’s hit a record day for digital sales on Thanksgiving, as it kicked off many of its Black Friday deals on its website at midnight that morning. She said Kohl’s was seeing huge traffic coming from mobile devices, as shoppers were looking to scoop up apparel and kitchen appliances. Kohl’s has also been called out by analysts as one company expected to have benefited this past holiday season amid Sears’ bankruptcy and Toys R Us’ liquidation.
Based on Thursday’s results, Kohl’s said it now expects fiscal 2018 diluted earnings per share to fall within a range of $5.50 to $5.55, up from a prior range of $5.35 to $5.55. Analysts had been calling for earnings of $5.52 per share, according to a poll by Refinitiv.
Kohl’s said it will share more details about its holiday performance when it reports fourth-quarter earnings on March 5.