Kohl’s Corp. (KSS) Touches 52-Week High on New Launches

Shares of Kohl’s Corp. (KSS) reached a 52-week high of $61.44 on Sep 16, 2014 with the company launching back-to-back brands in its stores and online to improve traffic. The closing price of this specialty departmental store retailer on Sep 16 was $61.11, translating to a year-to-date return of 9.5%.

Brands Launched

On Sep 12, Kohl’s announced that it has stacked up its stores with new and classic toys from national brands like Barbie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fisher-Price, Melissa & Doug, Nerf, Play-Doh, Playskool and more to attract its young customers during the holiday season. Kohl’s new collection is to keep pace with changing kids’ preference for imaginative toys. (Read: Kohl’s Gears Up for Holiday Season; Launches Toy Brands).

On Sep 11, Kohl’s launched the much-awaited and Los Angeles-inspired lifestyle brand Juicy Couture in its stores and on its website. The luxury brand Juicy Coutureshowcases a casual collection for young girls aged 7-16 years. The collection includes apparel, jewelry, handbags, accessories, watches, footwear, bedding and fragrances. The prices for fashion and accessories will not be more than $100 and that for bedding and watches will be under $400. (Read: Kohl’s (KSS) Launches Juicy Couture).

Earlier this month, Kohl’s partnered with Awesomeness TV to launch S.o. R.a.d., a seven capsule limited-edition junior fashion line and Life’s S.o. R.a.d., an original four-season scripted series on YouTube. Awesomeness TV, a wholly owned subsidiary of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. (DWA), is an American sketch-comedy reality series aired on the Nickelodeon channel. (Read:Kohl’s, Awesomeness TV Team Up for Junior Fashion Line).

Kohl’s has always focused on introducing new brands in order to keep the inventory assortment fresh and drive customer traffic to its stores and website. These back-to-back launches signal that the retailer has pulled up its socks to perform and compete in the upcoming holiday season.

Besides new brand launches, Kohl’s shares have been gaining momentum ever since it reported strong second quarter fiscal 2014 results. On Aug 14, Kohl’s posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings of $1.13 per share, which were not only ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.6% but surged 9% from the prior-year quarter earnings. Earnings improved on the back of lower costs and reduced shares outstanding owing to share buyback. The company’s selling, general and administrative costs fell about 2% year-over-year in the second quarter, while cost of goods sold declined 1%.

Kohl’s currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the retail sector worth considering include Citi Trends, Inc. (CTRN) and Foot Locker, Inc. (FL). While Citi Trends sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Foot Locker holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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