Target Posts Upbeat Holiday Sales


Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT)

Discount retailer Target Corp. said on Thursday that same store sales rose 5.7% in the combined November/December period, thanks to solid customer visits and online sales during the holiday selling season. In the same period last year, the company reported same store sales growth of 3.4%. Target also forecasts double-digit adjusted earnings growth for the full year.

The Minneapolis-based company said its expects full year 2018 earnings to be in the range of $5.30 and $5.50 per share. Analysts have called for fiscal 2018 adjusted earnings of $5.39 per share and fourth quarter year-on-year comparable same store sales growth of 5%, based on figures compiled by Thompson Reuters.

Target also announced that its Chief Financial Officer Cathy Smith will retire from the company, which she joined in 2015. She will continue serving her role until Target appoints her successor. An external and internal search to find her replacement has started, according to the retailer.

Shares of Target dropped 1.6% in premarket trading Thursday. The stock later declined 5% in early hours of regular trading after Macy’s Inc. slashed its cut its revenue and earnings guidance. Macy’s said same-store sales for the final two months of the year were up just 1.1%. Shares of the department store chain plunged 19% on track for their worst day ever.

Kohl’s Corp. announced that comparable sales growth slumped during the holiday season. The department store operator said same store sales grew 1.2% in the in the combined November/December period, compared with growth of 7% in the year-ago period. Kohl’s shares were down 6.8% as of 12.05 p.m. on the New York Stock Exchange.

Target CEO Comments

Brian Cornell, chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Target Corporation, said, “We are very pleased with Target’s holiday season performance, which came on top of really strong results in the same period last year. This performance demonstrates the benefit of placing our stores at the center of every way we serve our guests, including both in-store shopping and digital fulfillment.”

“Given our fourth quarter outlook, we are on track to deliver Target’s strongest full-year comparable sales growth since 2005, market-share gains across all of our core merchandising categories, and double digit growth in Adjusted EPS. In 2019, we expect to build on this momentum as we gain further scale in our fulfillment capabilities and deliver profitable growth throughout the year.”

Target Corp. Profile

Target Corp. engages in owning and operating of general merchandise stores. It also operates SuperTarget stores with a line of food and general merchandise items and offers an assortment of general merchandise, including many items found in the company’s stores and a complementary assortment, such as extended sizes and colors, sold only online. The company was founded by George Draper Dayton in 1902 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. – CNN Money