Shares of Kohl’s Corp. KSS shot up 12.4% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the department-store chain reported a surprise fiscal first-quarter profit, even as sales fell a bit below forecasts. Net income for the quarter to April 29 was $14 million, or 13 cents a share, after income of $14 million, or 11 cents a share, in the year-ago period, as the shares used in calculation of earnings per share fell 14% to 111 million. That beat the FactSet consensus for a per-share loss of 43 cents. Total revenue fell 3.9% to $3.57 billion, but topped the FactSet consensus of $3.55 billion, while net sales declined 3.3% to $3.36 billion to miss expectations of $3.42 billion. Same-store sales declined 4.3%, but that beat the FactSet consensus for a 4.5% drop. Gross margin improved to 39.0% from 38.3% and merchandise inventory fell 5.6% to $3.53 billion as of April 29. The company affirmed its fiscal 2023 guidance ranges for EPS of $2.10 to $2.70 and for net sales to decline 2% to 4%. The stock, which had closed at a 2 1/2-year low as recently as last Friday, has tumbled 34.1% over the past three months through Tuesday while the S&P 500 SPX has gained 4.4%.
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