Target Beats Targets, but Sales Still Slip

Target posts better-than-expected earnings, but sales are still weak for the second quarter.
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(TGT) - Get Report

topped Wall Street's second-quarter expectations, but how much is there to get excited about as the discounter reports its eight consecutive drop in quarterly profit?

Investors think there is plenty, sending shares up 5.5% to $43.50 before the bell.

During the quarter, earnings slid 6% to $594 million, or 79 cents a year, compared with $634 million, or 82 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected earnings of 66 cents a share.

The company attributed the better-than-expected profit to cost cuts and less merchandise, but the consumer is still not shopping.

Revenue slipped nearly 3% to $15.07 billion from $15.47 billion last year, while total same-store sales sank 6.2%.

Last week rival

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) - Get Reportposted better-than-expected second-quarter profit

and upped the low end of its guidance, but also saw sales slip.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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