Target's Same-Store Sales Surpass Expectations

03/06/18 07:38 AM EST
By Allison Prang 

Same-store sales at Target Corp. rose slightly more than analysts were expecting in the latest quarter, as the retailer came out of a strong holiday season with an even stronger January.

The company said fourth-quarter same-store sales rose by 3.6%, while analysts polled by Consensus Metrix were expecting an increase of 3.4%. In January, same-store sales were up over 4%, the company said.

Total sales rose 10% to $22.77 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting sales of $22.53 billion.

Shares fell 3.7% premarket. In the past year, they've risen 34%.

Target, based in Minneapolis, had a much better November and December season than it did a year ago as same-store sales rose by 3.4%. The same period a year prior, they had fallen by 1.3% for those two months.

During the holiday season, Target garnered 2.97% of online spending, according to Slice Intelligence, compared with the 37.53% that Amazon had. Target Chief Executive Brian Cornell said in a blog post that over the holidays, the Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage Playset and Barbie Dreamhouse were two of the retailer's best sellers.

For 2018 and the first quarter, Target said it expects comparable sales to rise in the low single digits. For the quarter, the company is expecting adjusted earnings to be between $1.25 and $1.45 a share. Analysts are expecting adjusted earnings of $1.40 a share.

For the year, Target expects adjusted earnings of between $5.15 a share and $5.45 a share. Analysts are expecting $5.27 a share.

Target reported a profit of $1.1 billion, or $2.02 a share, up 35% from $817 million, or $1.45 a share the same period a year ago. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations were $1.37 a share, down from $1.45 a share a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting adjusted earnings of $1.38 a share.

The company is also buying Shipt Inc., a grocery startup that delivers people's groceries through contractors, which will help grow Target's delivery business. The company is similar to Instacart, which Target has used for grocery delivery.

Write to Allison Prang at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 06, 2018 07:38 ET (12:38 GMT)

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