The company reported fourth quarter diluted earnings per share increased 9% to $1.81. However, net income for the quarter decreased 8% to $455 million, compared with $494 million ($1.66 per diluted share) a year ago. Net sales for the quarter fell 0.3% to $6 billion, while comparable-store sales decreased 2.1%.
Despite a lackluster fourth quarter, Kohl’s ended fiscal 2011 with a diluted earnings per share increase of 17% to $4.30 and net income growth of 4% to $1.17 billion. Net sales were $18.8 billion, an increase of 2.2%. Comparable-store sales increased 0.5%.
Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “I am pleased that 2011 was another year of profitability and earnings per share growth for our shareholders. With the commitment of each of our 140,000 associates, we were able to navigate a difficult holiday sales season through strong expense and inventory management. We achieved a major milestone in 2011 with our e-commerce business reporting $1 billion in revenues. We are starting 2012 with considerable brand excitement, with the launch of Rock and Republic, continued excitement from our Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony brands, and expansion of the successful ELLE and Simply Vera Vera Wang brands into new categories.”
Kohl’s opened 40 stores during 2011 and now has 1,127 stores in 49 states, compared with 1,089 stores at the same time last year. The company remodeled 100 stores in 2011.
Based on assumptions of a total sales increase of 4.5% and a comparable store sales increase of 2%, Kohl’s said it expects earnings per diluted share of $4.75 for the year. For the first fiscal quarter, the company said it expects earnings per diluted share of 60 cents based on assumptions of a total sales increase of 3% and a comparable-store sales increase of 1%