Target Beats Q4 Earnings Forecast, Sees Slowing Q1 Comparable Sales

Target posted its 11th consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth, but forecast near-term gains that missed Wall Street estimates.
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Target Corp.  (TGT) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Tuesday, but forecast near-term sales that missed Wall Street forecasts.  

Target said adjusted earnings for the three months ending on February 1 came in at $1.69 per share, up 10.5% from the same period last year and 3 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, Target said, rose 1.8% to $23.4 billion, just shy of analysts' estimates of $23.5 billion. Comparable sales, the company said, rose 1.5%, matching Street forecasts. 

Looking into the 2021 fiscal year, Target said it sees a low single digit increase in comparable sales over the first quarter, compared to a 2.7% increase expected from analysts and a 4.8% pace recorded last year. First quarter earnings were forecast in the range of $1.55 to $1.75 per share, compared to the Refinitiv mid-point of $1.67, and $6 to $7 per share for the full year. 

"With eleven consecutive quarters of positive comparable sales growth, driven by healthy performance in both our stores and digital channels, Target's results demonstrate that we've built a sustainable business model that drives strong topline growth and consistent bottom line performance," said CEO Brian Cornell. 

"The strategic investments we've made over the past several years to elevate the shopping experience, curate our multi-category assortment at scale, and deliver ease and convenience through our fulfillment capabilities are deepening our relationship with our guest," he added. "As we look ahead to 2020 and beyond, we are well positioned to build on this strong foundation to further differentiate Target and drive long-term, profitable growth."  

Target shares were marked 0.6% higher in early Tuesday trading following the earnings release to change hands at $109.72 each.