Kmart, Target Same-Store Sales Increase in March

Target ( TGT) said its same-store sales for March narrowly missed Wall Street's expectations, but the retailer reaffirmed its first-quarter earnings expectations, while Kmart ( KM) reported comparable sales for the month that were in line with analysts' projections.

Target said same-store sales rose 2.4% in the period, just below the 2.6% increase projected by analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call. Total retail sales rose to $3.21 billion from $2.96 billion in the year-ago period. "While April represents an important month for overall results in the first quarter, we continue to expect our earnings per share to increase slightly-to-modestly, consistent with our prior guidance," Target said.

Kmart said same-store sales for the month increased by 1%, a move that matched analysts' expectations. Total sales fell to $3.13 billion from $3.16 billion in the year-ago period.

"For the fifth consecutive month, we have met or exceeded our sales expectations," Kmart said in statement. "This was accomplished while reducing advertising for the month in comparison to our historical trend and also facing adverse weather conditions throughout the country that affected our seasonally sensitive businesses."

Shares of Target, which is based in Minneapolis, were off 14 cents, or 0.4%, to $35.56, while Kmart, Troy, Mich., gained 3 cents to $8.78 in recent New York Stock Exchange trading.

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