Shoppers leave Kohl’s store on November 12, 2015 in San Rafael, California.
Justin Sullivan News Getty Images | Getty Images
On Thursday, Kohl’s said final and fully funded bids from potential buyers are expected in the coming weeks as the retailer faces increased pressure from activists to sell.
CEO Michelle Gus said Kohl’s “is pleased with the number of parties that recognize the value of our business and plan”.
But the company’s shares fell 5% in previous trading after the retailer posted a significant loss of earnings in the first fiscal quarter and cut profits and sales forecasts for the year. In a press release, Gus said 2022 started below her expectations.
“Sales weakened significantly in April as we faced macro-failures related to last year’s stimulus and inflationary consumer environment,” Gus said.
Kohl’s joins a growing list of major retailers, including Walmart and Target, who have seen logistics and staff costs eat up profits amid 40 years of inflation. These companies have also begun to see American consumers adjust their behavior in spending as they face rising prices for everything from milk to workout clothes.
Now Kohl’s expects that in fiscal year 2022, adjusted earnings per share will be $ 6.45 to $ 6.85 compared to the previous forecast of $ 7.00 to $ 7.50.
It is projected that net sales will remain at 1% compared to the same level last year compared to previous estimates by 2-3%.
According to a poll by Refinitiv analysts, here’s how Kohl’s did for the three-month period that ended April 30, compared to what Wall Street expected:
- Earnings per share: 11 cents versus the expected 70 cents
- Revenue: $ 3.72 billion versus expected $ 3.68 billion
Kohl’s for the first fiscal quarter reported net income of $ 14 million, or 11 cents a share, compared to $ 14 million, or 9 cents a share, a year earlier. This does not meet analysts’ expectations of 70 cents per share.
Sales fell to $ 3.72 billion from $ 3.89 billion a year earlier, but still exceeded analysts’ estimates of revenue of $ 3.68 billion.
Kolka said comparable sales fell 5.2%. Analysts expected a 0.5% increase.
Kohl’s grim results come amid a highly observed retail sales process. Kohl’s has been facing pressure to find a new owner since hedge fund activist Macellum Advisors in January pushed the company to do so, arguing that Gus had done little to grow sales.
Macellum also sought a major overhaul of Koli’s board of directors, but to no avail. Last week, Kohl’s shareholders voted to re-elect the company’s current list of directors from 13 board directors, surpassing Maccellum’s proposal. However, a group of activists said they would hold Kohl accountable for their decisions in the coming months.
Gus, who took over as CEO at Kohl’s in May 2018, tested a number of strategies to attract customers to the store, including partnering with Amazon and adding Sephora beauty salons to Kohl’s hundreds of locations. The company has also invested heavily in its business for active wear, as more and more consumers are looking for comfortable clothing rather than dresses and blazers.
But skepticism is building around whether Gus’s plans are working.
“Going to Kohl’s is an unpleasant experience, so some customers stop visiting and others buy less when they visit,” said GlobalData Retail CEO Neil Saunders.
In a statement on Wednesday, Kohl’s said its merchandising director and marketing director were leaving the seller. A spokeswoman said the search for replacements was already under way.
Find the full press release from Kohl’s here.
This story is evolving. Please check for updates.