Kohl’s Third-quarter Sales Fall 14 Percent

Kohl’s Corp. bounced back some in the third quarter and has its sights set on holiday and next year — when the company plans to restart dividend payments to investors. 

The company’s third-quarter net losses tallied $12 million, or 8 cents a diluted share, and compared with year-ago earnings of $123 million, or 78 cents. On an adjusted basis, the retailer eked out a profit of $2 million, a steep drop from $116 million a year earlier.

Revenues for the three months ended Oct. 31 fell 14 percent to $4 billion from $4.6 billion — marking improvement from the second quarter when the company’s top line fell by 23.1 percent. 

Michelle Gass, chief executive officer, said: “I continue to be very proud of how our organization is navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our third quarter results exceeded our expectations with significant sequential sales and profitability improvement. Digital sales growth remained strong and our actions to improve our gross margin showed great progress. We also further strengthened our financial position and fully repaid our revolver during the period, which underscores the solid cash flow generation of our business.” 

Given the enormous and unusual disruptions from the pandemic, many analysts and investors are looking beyond the past few quarters to the holiday season for hints on just how well positioned retailers are for next year. 

“We entered the holiday season well-positioned and prepared to serve our customers with more omnichannel conveniences in place to deliver the great experience they always expect from Kohl’s,” Gass said. “As we look ahead, we are incredibly focused on executing against our new strategic framework, which represents our greatest opportunity to drive long-term sales and profit growth and create shareholder value in the coming years. In addition, through disciplined capital management we plan to reinstate a dividend during the first half of 2021.”

The reinstatement of dividend payments would mark something of a return to normal — whatever that will mean next year.

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