Target reports Better-than-expected earnings, shares up

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) on Wednesday reported quarterly sales and profit that topped analysts’ estimates, sending the stock up 2 percent.

The company said net income rose to $681 million, or $1.23 a share, in the first quarter, compared with $632 million, or $1.05 a share a year ago. Excluding certain items, Target earned $1.23 a share, beating analysts’ estimate of 91 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue fell 1.1 percent to $16.02 billion in the first quarter, beating analysts’ forecast of $15.62 billion.

Same-store sales, an indicator investors are closely watching, fell 1.3 percent in the first quarter. Less of a decline than analysts’ estimated, as they forecasted a 3.7 percent decline.

“Target’s first quarter financial performance was better than our expectations, reflecting strong execution by our team as they delivered for our guests in a very choppy environment. After starting the quarter with very soft trends, we saw improvement later in the quarter, particularly in March,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target.

Target shares rose 2 percent to $55.62 in New York.

Cornell also said, “We are in the early stage of a multi-year effort to position Target for profitable, consistent long-term growth, and while we are confident in our plans, we are facing multiple headwinds in the current landscape. As a result, we will continue to plan our business prudently while preparing our team to chase business when we have an opportunity.”

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