Target Corp TGT
Q1 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 05/22/2013

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Target Corporation's First Quarter Earnings Release Conference Call. During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards, we will invite you to participate in the question-and-answer session. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Gregg Steinhafel, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. Please go ahead, sir.

Gregg W. Steinhafel - Chairman, President and CEO: Good morning, and welcome to our 2013 first quarter earnings conference call. On the line with me today are Kathee Tesija, Executive Vice President of Merchandising and John Mulligan, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

This morning, I will provide a high level summary of our first quarter results and strategic priorities for the rest of the year and Kathee will discuss category results, guest insights, and upcoming initiatives; and finally, John will provide more detail on our financial performance along with our outlook for second quarter and the full year. Following John's remarks, we'll open the phone lines for a question-and-answer session.

As a reminder, we're joined on this conference call by investors and others who are listening to our comments via webcast. Following this conference call, John Hulbert and John Mulligan will be available throughout the day to answer any follow-up questions you may have.

Also, as a reminder, any forward-looking statements that we make this morning are subject to risks and uncertainties, the most important of which are described in our SEC filings.

Finally, in these remarks, we refer to adjusted earnings per share, which is a non-GAAP financial measure. A reconciliation to our GAAP results is included in this morning's press release posted on our Investor Relations website.

Our first quarter earnings fell short of our expectations as we faced a choppy and challenging environment caused by unfavorable weather and this year's payroll tax increase. Our U.S. business generated softer than expected sales and traffic, particularly in our seasonal categories as we experienced one of the coldest spring seasons on record following record warmth a year ago. While we are not satisfied with this quarter's performance, we remain highly confident in our strategy and our team's ability to deliver strong results going forward across broad range of conditions.

In the first quarter, our U.S. segment generated adjusted earnings per share of $1.05, down 5% from last year's outstanding performance. Our first quarter GAAP earnings per share were $0.77, $0.28 lower than adjusted EPS, driven primarily by $0.24 of dilution attributable to our Canadian Segment. As we mentioned in our fourth quarter call, this year there are several notable changes affecting our financial reporting, which John will cover in detail in a few minutes.

In the quarter, comparable store sales declined 0.6% from last year's 5.3% increase. First quarter comparable transactions were down 1.9% following last year's increase of 2% keeping us essentially flat on two year basis.

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