Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) today reported that its net retail sales for the five weeks ended December 29, 2012 were $10,214 million, an increase of 0.8 percent from $10,138 million for the five weeks ended December 31, 2011. On this same basis, December comparable-store sales were essentially flat. “December sales were slightly below our expectations, as strong results late in the month did not completely offset softness in the first three weeks," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Target Corporation. "Similar to November, profitability for December benefited from our continued focus on achieving an appropriate balance between price investments and driving sales, combined with thoughtful inventory management. As a result, we expect Target’s fourth quarter 2012 earnings per share will meet or somewhat exceed the low end of our prior guidance. Looking ahead to 2013, we will continue to focus on profitably growing Target’s market share by combining unique merchandise, convenience, value and an unbeatable guest experience across our stores, online and mobile channels.” As a reminder, in Target’s third quarter 2012 earnings release the company indicated that it expected fourth quarter 2012 adjusted EPS of $1.64 to $1.74 and GAAP EPS of $1.45 to $1.55. The 19-cent difference between these ranges reflected the expected EPS impact of expenses related to the company’s Canadian market entry.
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About TargetMinneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at 1,782 stores across the United States and at Target.com. The company plans to open its first stores in Canada in 2013. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit Target.com/hereforgood.For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom.