Target Corp. (TGT - Get Report) posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Wednesday, and reaffirmed its full-year guidance, as the retailer extended its run of same-store sales gains despite increasing competition from Walmart (WMT - Get Report) and Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) .
Target said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in April came in at $1.53 per share, up 15% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.43 per share. Group sales, Target said, rose just under 1% to $17.627 billion and beat analysts' forecast, but the more impressive figure was the same-store sales growth, which was pegged at 4.8% and marked the ninth consecutive quarterly gain.
Looking into the 2020 fiscal year, which ends in early January, Target said it sees low to mid-single digit growth for same store sales and adjusted and GAAP earnings of between $5.75 and $6.05 per share, both figures matching guidance the company provided earlier this year.
"Target had an outstanding first quarter, as our team delivered a great experience for our guests and drove strong growth in traffic, comparable sales, operating income and earnings per share," said CEO Brian Cornell. "Over the last two years we have made important investments to build a durable operating and financial model that drives consumer relevance and sustainable growth."
"Target's first quarter performance and market-share gains demonstrate that the model is working. Throughout this year, we will continue to extend the reach of our same-day fulfillment options, strengthen our portfolio of owned and exclusive brands, remodel and open more stores and invest in our team," he added. "We're confident that we're well-positioned to deliver strong financial performance in 2019 and beyond."
Target shares were marked 8.4% higher at the start of trading following the earnings release ti change hands at $78.07 each.
Target's results were a sharp contracts to Lowe's Companies (LOW - Get Report) , which trimmed its full-year outlook as rising costs hit profit margins, amid a series of disappointing reports from U.S. retailers fell 10% to $100.00 each at the opening bell.
Lowe's said earnings for the three months ending in April came in at $1.22 per share, up 2.5% from the same period last year but firmly shy of the Street consensus forecast of $1.33 per share. Group sales rose 2.2% to $17.7 billion, the company said, topping analysts' forecasts of $17.48 billion. Same stores sales, however, were pegged 3.5% higher than last year, topping the consensus forecast of a 3.2% gain.
Looking into the current fiscal year, which ends in early 2020, Lowe's said its sees adjusted earnings in the range of $5.45 to $5.65 each, down from a prior forecast of $6.00 to $6.10. However, it also sees revenues rising 2% and comparable sales rising 3%, estimates that match forecasts issued earlier this year.