Retail News Breaks
Target's sales surge in first quarter
May 16th, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS – Retail sales for the first quarter increased 6.1% to $16.54 billion at Target Corp., fueled by a 5.3% rise in comparable-store sales.
Although net income increased just 1.2% to $697 million, earnings per diluted share of $1.04 exceeded the $1.02 per share average estimate among analysts.
In a research note, William Blair & Co. analyst Mark Miller noted that the results represented a strong rebound from soft fourth quarter sales. “In particular, the previously reported 5.3% increase in comp-store sales was the best quarterly comp in over six years, and, like other retailers, seasonally sensitive categories benefited from the unusually warm early spring weather.”
On the basis of the strong performance, management increased its full-year profit guidance to a range of $4.60 to $4.80 per share, well above the $4.28 average expected by analysts.
“We’re very pleased with our first quarter earnings, which benefited from better-than-expected sales,” said chairman, president and chief executive officer Gregg Steinhafel. “While our outlook for the remainder of 2012 reflects continued economic uncertainty, we are confident in our strategy, keenly focused on delivering an affordable and inspirational merchandise assortment to our guests and committed to making thoughtful investments in our U.S. and Canadian business segments.”
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