Kohl's Corp, the fourth largest U.S. retailer, said its first quarter profit fell 27 percent as the company faced a difficult economic environment.

Net income for the fourth largest U.S. retailer declined to $153 million, or 49 cents per share, compared with $209 million, or 64 cents per share a year ago. Net revenue was up 1.5 percent to $3.6billion.

Kohl's beat consensus profit estimates of 44 cents per share, according to analysts polled by Thomson Financial. Revenue matched forecasts.

Kohl's shares rose 90 cents, or 1.81 percent to close at $50.49.

Our first quarter results reflect strong management of inventory levels and expenses in a difficult economic environment, said Larry Montgomery, Kohl's chairman and chief executive officer. We remain conservative in our sales expectations for the balance of the year and will manage our business accordingly.

The company updated its guidance for the second quarter, expecting earnings per diluted share of 70 cents to 74 cents. The company expects full-year earnings per diluted share or $2.95 to $3.15 for the year.

The company said it opened 28 stores during the quarter. The company has 957 stores, compared with 834 at the same time last year. It expects to open a total of 75 stores in the current fiscal year.

We will continue to invest for the long-term as we add new stores and remodel existing stores as well as invest in people and technology for market share gain, Montgomery said.