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Department store Kohl’s Corporation (KSS - Analyst Report) posted negative same-store sales results for the month of September compared with the prior-year period. The total sales for the period also decreased due to a challenging macro-environment.

Kohl’s comparable store sales was negative 2.7% for the five-weeks ended September 29, 2012 versus a positive 4.1% same-store sales growth in the five-week month ended October 1, 2011. Kohl’s total sales dipped 1.4% in the month of September 2012 to $1.61 billion, compared to 5.8% growth with sales of $1.63 billion in the year-ago month.

Kohl’s net sales declined 1.0% year over year to $4.2 billion in the second quarter 2012 earnings, which released on August 9, due to a 2.7% year over year decline in comparable store sales.

Kohl’s also stated that it expects sales growth in a range of 1% to 3% while comparable-store sales growth is expected to be flat to 2% for the third quarter of 2012. However, the company’s negative same store sales in the month of September might lead to negative same-store sales for the third quarter of 2012, results of which are expected to release on November 8, 2012.

On the other hand, Kohl’s competitor, Ross Stores Inc. (ROST - Analyst Report) reported growth in same-store sales of 5% for the five-weeks ended September 29, 2012, up from the 5% growth in the five-week month ended October 1, 2011. Net sales for the month marked an increase of 10% to $800 million from $726 million reported in the prior-year period.

Kohl’s, which operates 1,146 stores in 49 states, holds a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating). Currently, we maintain a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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