Department store retailer Kohl's Corp. (NYSE:KSS) reported earnings of $147 million, or 66 cents per share, in its first quarter ended May 4, compared with $154 million, or 63 cents per share, in the same period the year before.

The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based company said in its earnings report Thursday morning that revenue declined nearly 1 percent to $4.2 billion from last year. Wall Street analysts has expected higher revenue, but also lower earnings, at 56 cents per share -- news that sent shares of the company up almost 5 percent in early Thursday trading.

"Despite the lower than expected sales, we outperformed our earnings guidance as gross margin results and expense management were better than expected,” Kevin Mansell, the company’s chairman and CEO, said in announcing the results.

Like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT), the company reported a decline in same-store sales as Americans shopped a little less in the early months of the year in part because of the 2 percent payroll tax increase. Also like Wal-Mart, Kohl’s cited an unusually cool spring as another reason why income declined.

Kohl’s said it expects earnings per share to increase in the second quarter, to as much as $1.08 a share.