NEW YORK (
) -- Retailers reporting third-quarter earnings Wednesday morning saw better-than-expected profits.
posted a 23% jump in third-quarter profit, handily topping estimates, although its sales missed the mark.
Nonetheless, Target is predicted holiday sales will reach its highest level in three years.
During the quarter, the discounter earned $535 million, or 74 cents a share, compared with $436 million, or 58 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts were calling for a profit of 68 cents a share.
Target received a boost from improvement in its credit card business and strong food sales.
Target's sales rose 3% to $15.2 billion, while its same-store sales increased 1.6%. Wall Street predicted sales of $5.61 billion.
Looking ahead, Target is hoping to receive a boost from its new loyalty program. "Based on our merchandising and marketing plans, combined with the expected impact of REDcard rewards and our newly completed remodel program, we expect Target's fourth quarter comparable-store performance will be the best of any quarter in the last three years," CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement.
raised its full-year outlook after reporting a 32% surge in its third-quarter profit.
During the quarter, the wholesaler earned $23 million, or 43 cents a share, from $17.4 million, or 32 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts were calling for a profit 36 cents a share for BJ's.
BJ's previously reported a sales increase of nearly 5% to $2.57 billion.
Looking ahead, the company foresees full-year earnings in the range of $2.48 to $2.52 a share, from a previous guidance of $2.40 to $2.50 a share. Wall Street is predicting a smaller profit of $2.45 a share.
Women's apparel retailer
earned $28.8 million, or 16 cents a share in the third-quarter, compared with $22.7 million, or 13 cents, in the year-ago period.
Chico's revenue rose 8% to $483 million from $446.9 million, while same-store sales climbed 3.1%. By division, the Chico's/Soma Intimates brands saw a 1.5% uptick in comparable sales, while White House/Black Market jumped 7.1%.
Wall Street forecast earnings of 15 cents a share on revenue of $476.6 million.
Chico's also announced that its board of directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of 4 cents a share, payable on Dec. 21 to shareholders of record at the close on Dec. 7.
--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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