Target Corp. (TGT) - Get Report shares hit a record high Wednesday after the retailer posted stronger-than expected third quarter earnings, and raised its full-year profit guidance, following on from a strong report from its larger rival Walmart (WMT) - Get Report late last week.
Target said adjusted earnings for the three months ending on November 2 came in at $1.36 per share, up 24.7% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.19 per share. Group revenues, Target said, rose 4.9% to $18.7 billion, while same-store sales rose 4.5%, both figures topping analysts' forecasts.
Target also boosted its full-year adjusted earnings forecast, and now expects a range of $6.25 to $6.45 per share, up from its prior forecast of $5.90 to $6.05 per share.
"The Target team did an excellent job serving our guests and executing our strategy throughout the third quarter. Our third quarter results are further proof of the durability of our strategy, as we're seeing industry-leading strength across multiple metrics, from the top line to the bottom line," said CEO Brian Cornell.
"Looking ahead, we have ushered in the holiday season with an unwavering commitment to guest service that complements our highly differentiated, value-driven assortment, our exceptional in-store shopping experience as well as an unmatched suite of easy and convenient fulfillment options," he added.
Target shares were marked 12.66% higher at the start of trading Wednesday to change hands at $125.08 each, an all-time high and a move that would take the stock's year-to-date gain to around 90%.
"We're seeing a very healthy consumer environment right now," Cornell told CNBC's Becky Quick in an interview following the earnings release. "Unemployment is very low, wages are rising, consumer confidence is strong and all the indicators right now would say we're looking at a very solid holiday season."
Walmart Inc. (WMT) - Get Report boosted its full-year profit guidance as e-commerce and grocery sales at the world's biggest retailer continue to surge amid a stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings report.
Walmart saw same-store sales rise 3.2% in the quarter, capping a five-year streak of comparable sale gains, while e-commerce activity surged 41% thanks in part to its enhanced grocery offering and same-day pick-up initiatives.
Walmart also said fiscal 2020 earnings would likely increase "slightly" from the previous year, an upgrade from its prior forecast of either a modest gain or a modest decline.