Target’s Q4 same-store sales rose 5.3%

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Full-year same-store sales grew 5%, biggest gain since 2005

Target’s Q4 same-store sales rose 5.3%
MINNEAPOLIS — Target Corp. said a strong performance in the holiday period capped off its best year for comparable sales growth in a decade.

Fourth quarter same-store sales rose 5.3% on traffic growth of 4.5%, the company said Tuesday in releasing fourth quarter and full-year financial results. Full-year same-store sales grew 5%, its strongest performance since 2005.

Target said comparable digital sales rose 31% in the quarter ended February 2, with its stores fulfilling nearly three-quarters of its digital sales.

On an adjusted basis, fourth quarter net income fell 26.5% to $799 million. Revenue was flat at about $23 billion.

For both the fourth quarter and the full year, the retailer recorded gains in both comparable sales and market share across all five of its core merchandise categories.

Target has gained momentum thanks in part to remodeling hundreds of stores, introducing about 25 new private brands and expanding its online capabilities.

“We’re very pleased with our fourth quarter performance, which capped off an outstanding year for Target,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and chief executive officer of Target. “We have been driving an ambitious agenda to transform our company, evolve with our guests and drive strong growth. On every count we’ve been successful, and as we enter 2019, we will continue to lead the industry by adapting, innovating and delivering more for our guests and shareholders.”

The company’s profit guidance for the current fiscal year is $5.75 to $6.05 a share, above analysts’ average estimate, while comparable sales are expected to increase by a low- to mid-single-digit percentage.

Target returned $951 million to shareholders in the fourth quarter through dividends and share repurchases, bringing the total to $3.4 billion for full-year 2018.



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