Target Smashes Q2 Profit Forecast on Record Same-Store Sales; Shares Surge To All-Time High

Target followed its larger rival Walmart with record same-store sales growth over the second quarter that drover stronger-than-expected earnings, and increased market share, during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Target Corp.  (TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report posted much stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Wednesday as digital sales rose nearly 200% from last year as shoppers flocked to the few stores that remained opened throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 

Target said adjusted earnings for the three months ending on August 1 were pegged at $3.38 per share, an 85% increase from the same period last year, smashing the Street consensus forecast of $1.82 per share. Group revenues, Target said, rose 24.7% to $22.98 billion, again topping analysts' estimates of a $20.08 billion tally.

"Our second quarter comparable sales growth of 24.3% is the strongest we have ever reported, which is a true testament to the resilience of our team and the durability of our business model," said CEO Brian Cornell. "Our stores were the key to this unprecedented growth, with in-store comp sales growing 10.9% and stores enabling more than three-quarters of Target's digital sales, which rose nearly 200%."

"We remain steadfast in our focus on investing in a safe and convenient shopping experience for our guests, and their trust has resulted in market share gains of $5 billion in the first six months of the year," he added. "With our differentiated merchandising assortment, a comprehensive set of convenient fulfillment options, a strong balance sheet, and our deeply dedicated team, we are well-equipped to navigate the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, and continue to grow profitably in the years ahead."  

TheStreet Recommends

Target shares were marked 7.6% higher in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $147.50 each, an all-time high and a move that extends the stock's year-to-date gain to around 15%.

Traders had been looking for a solid earnings beat from Target after Walmart Inc.  (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report surprised Wall Street with stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Tuesday as online sales nearly doubled from last year amid the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Walmart said e-commerce sales rose 97% from last year as the group introduced curbside pickup for online orders during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. Comparable sales in the U.S., Walmart said, rose 9.3%, and nearly 10% once fuel sales were stripped away. 

Walmart shares edged 0.3% lower in pre-market trading to $134.60, after hitting an all-time high of $137.63 in yesterday's session.