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Target second-quarter profit, sales beat view as customer traffic rises

17 August 2017

Sorry, if there's a good chance that Target could still end up delivering negative comparable sales for the year, it's not the most persuasive sign that the company has gotten its act together.

Net income fell to $672 million, or $1.22 per share, in the second quarter, from $680 million, or $1.16 per share, and is down 1.2 percent year over year.

Target is also expanding ship from store to 350 more locations by the holidays and Target Restock will offer next day essentials delivery in seven new markets in Q3.

Target shares which have fallen 25 percent since the beginning of the year, jumped 5 percent before the opening bell. Second quarter adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations were $1.23, an increase of 0.1% from second quarter 2016.

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For the third quarter, the company expects an EPS of $0.75 to $0.95.

E-commerce remains a stubbornly tiny share of its business, accounting for just 4.3 percent of total sales this quarter.

"We continue to focus on our long-term strategy, as we work to transform every part of our business and build an even better Target that will thrive in this new era in retail", Cornell said in a statement.

Target also raised its fiscal year outlook, expecting a profit of $4.34 to $4.54 a share instead of previous predictions of of $3.80 to $4.20. Sales increased 1.6% to $16.4 billion from $16.2 billion thanks to gains in four of the company's five divisions: apparel, home, essentials and hardlines.

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On a per share basis, Target earned $1.22 compared with $1.16 in the year-ago period, as the company had fewer shares outstanding. In the second quarter, however, the retailer experienced an increase in full price sales, which "demonstrates progress and gives us confidence we're on the right track", according to Cornell. Analysts expected sales of $16.3 billion for the quarter. Comparable digital channel sales grew 32 percent and contributed 1.1 percentage points to comparable sales growth.

The company announced Wednesday morning that its comparable-store sales increased 1.3 percent compared with the same period past year.

Traffic growth was 2.1 percent, reflecting growth in both store and digital channels.

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Target second-quarter profit, sales beat view as customer traffic rises