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Target posts Q3 sales, earnings gains

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Comparable digital channel sales advanced by 31%

Target posts Q3 sales, earnings gains
MINNEAPOLIS – Target on Wednesday posted convincing gains in operating income, revenue and comparable-store sales as more shoppers visited its stores and website in the third quarter.

The retailer raised its fourth-quarter and full-year guidance on earnings and comparable-store sales.

Target said third-quarter comps increased 4.5% year on year (2.8% attributable to stores and 1.7% to digital sales). Third quarter comparable digital channel sales were up 31%, with 80% of that gain attributed to same-day fulfillment through its order pickup and delivery services.

“Our third-quarter results are further proof of the durability of our strategy, as we’re seeing industry-leading strength across multiple metrics, from the top line to the bottom line,” said Brian Cornell, Target’s chairman and chief executive officer. “Looking ahead, we have ushered in the holiday season with an unwavering commitment to guest service that complements our highly differentiated, value-driven assortment, our exceptional in-store shopping experience as well as an unmatched suite of easy and convenient fulfillment options.”

Target reported net income rose 8.6% to $714 million in the period ended November 2. Excluding one-time items, Target earned $1.36 per share, beating Wall Street expectations for $1.19 a share.

Total revenue grew 4.7% during the quarter to nearly $18.7 billion.

Target said traffic during the third quarter increased 3.1% and the average transaction amount was up 1.4%.

For the fourth quarter, Target said it expects a same-store sales increase in the range of 3% to 4%.

The company said it returned $631 million to shareholders in third quarter, including dividends totaling $337 million and share repurchases of $294 million. Target shares surged 10% in early trading today and are up about 67% year to date.

Target ended the third quarter with 1,862 stores, 16 more than it had a year earlier.


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