After rising 16 percent following a positive second-quarter sales and earnings report on Thursday, shares of Kohl’s Corp. were up 3 percent in the midday session in the wake of a bullish research report from Telsey Advisory Group.
Later in the afternoon, trading volume had cooled — but the stock was still trading up 0.9 percent to $44.59.
“Kohl’s [second-quarter] performance and more specifically, management’s ability to manage inventory levels in spite of a challenging retail environment is one to applaud, in our view,” said the retail research team at Telsey Advisory Group in their note today. “In addition, given some of the positive commentary received on yesterday’s earnings calls in terms of improved trends in apparel combined with the many initiatives in place at Kohl’s including introducing new brands, localizing products, optimizing omnichannel and increasing speed, we believe the company remains on track to drive earnings growth in [the second half] and beyond.”
The analysts went on to say that Kohl’s lean inventories as it heads into the back-half “coupled with easy [year-over-year] compares,” makes the company “well-positioned for solid margin recovery with the potential to meet the higher end of management’s annual guidance range.”
The retailer’s updated, full-year earnings-per-share guidance calls for a range of $3.12 to $3.32 per diluted share. Excluding impairments, store closings and other costs, the retailer said full-year earnings are expected to range between $3.80 to $4. This compares to the company’s prior guidance of $4.05 to $4.25.
“Overall, we view Kohl’s as a strong and nimble operator as it quickly adapts to current business trends, and remains focused on positioning the company to capitalize on demands of the future,” the Telsey analysts said, adding that the firm reiterated an “outperform” rating on the stock. The firm also raised its price target to $51, which is from a prior target of $44.
Kevin Mansell, chairman and chief executive officer of Kohl’s, said his company made progress in inventory management. He noted that inventory per store was reduced by 6 percent.