Kohl’s profit rises14% in Q4

Menomonee Falls, Wis. -- Kohl's Corp. reported Thursday that its fourth quarter net earnings rose 14% and the board authorized the first dividend in the company's history. But the chain said consumers will remain cautious in 2011 and gave a full-year earnings forecast below Wall Street’s expectations.

Kohl’s said that income the quarter ended Jan. 29 increased to $493 million from $431 million a year earlier, slightly ahead of predictions. Revenue rose 6% to $6.04 billion from $5.68 billion, in line with projections.

Same-store sales rose 4.3%.

For the year, net income rose 12% to $1.11 billion. Revenue rose 7% to $18.39 billion, from $17.18 billion last year.

“In 2011, we expect consumers to remain very interested in value and ways to make their dollars go further," said CEO Kevin Mansell.

Kohl's announced its first dividend Wednesday and said Thursday that it was boosting its buyback program.