Kohl's Corp posted a lower quarterly profit that exceeded Wall Street estimates by a penny, and the department store chain issued a dismal outlook for the rest of the year, citing higher costs.

The operator of 1,000-plus department stores said it expected selling, general and administrative expenses to rise between 3 percent and 4 percent in both the current and next quarter.

Kohl's forecast earnings of 40 cents to 44 cents a share for the third quarter, which began on August 2. This compares with the analysts' average forecast of 47 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

For the fourth quarter, it expects to earn 99 cents to $1.06 a share, while analysts were expecting $1.13.

Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based Kohl's also sees comparable-store sales falling 3 percent to 5 percent and total sales ranging between a fall of 1 percent and a rise of 1 percent in both periods.


Net profit fell to $229 million, or 75 cents a share, in the second quarter ended August 1 from $236 million, or 77 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 74 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Net sales rose 2.2 percent to $3.8 billion.

Sales for the first half of 2009 exceeded our plans and indicated market share gains across most merchandise areas and regions, Chief Executive Kevin Mansell said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Kohl's had posted a 0.4 percent increase in July sales at stores open at least one year, citing strong demand for footwear, home goods and accessories.

At that time it raised its second-quarter earnings forecast to 73 cents or 74 cents a share.

The company, which opened 19 stores in its first two quarters, said it expected to open an additional 37 later this year.

Shares Kohl's were down 2.5 percent at $50.98 in trading before the opening bell.

(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan in Bangalore; Editing by Derek Caney and Lisa Von Ahn)