Updated to include comments from Target's CFO on the company's media call.
The Minneapolis-based big-box retailer reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.10, beating consensus forecasts of $1.02. Target also managed to beat its own earnings forecast, which called for 95 cents to $1.02 a share. But the real story was on Target's sales line, and how it stood in stark contrast to Wal-Mart's in a quarter of mixed economic growth.
Insight from Jim Cramer and Jack Mohr:
"We are excited by the strong results amid a difficult retail environment, and believe the shares should be up solidly in today's trading."
Separately, Cramer adds: "I love the digital initiatives and the new fashion styles, especially Pulitzer, which sold out in no time. They are really back to 'expect more; pay less.'"
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Same-store sales advanced 2.3%, propelled by a 0.9% increase in the number of transactions at the retailer's stores. The company's limited-time debut of apparel brand Lily Pulitzer in the quarter, which saw a buying frenzy among the brand's fans, helped the retailer's performance in several ways.