Target Beats Q3 On Back-To-School Sales

Retailing giant Target said Wednesday that it beat quarterly profit expectations, as the firm saw a surge in back-to-school spending, along with a boost in sales conducted online, Reuters reported.

Target’s bottom line grew by 11 percent year over year in the quarter, with $1.04 in EPS excluding items besting the Street at $0.83 a share. The operating line fell 6.7 percent to $16.4 billion, and same-store sales were down 0.2 percent — quite a bit better than the consensus that had called for a 1 percent decline.

Target management said on the conference call that store traffic had improved during the quarter and that sales trends were also better, to the tune of 1 percent in the quarter. The firm also singled out demand for Apple products as picking up pace in the quarter, with advance orders up triple the level than had been seen at this time last year.

Target also said that digital sales were up by 26 percent, with a momentum in categories such as baby products and health-related items. Management expressed confidence with the overall inventory position headed into the holiday season.

Shares rose more than 6.4 percent on the day to more than $76. Looking ahead, Target said current fiscal year earnings should be in the range of $5.10 to $5.30 a share, up from previous estimates of $4.80 of $5.20.


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