Target, after booming 3Q, gets cheery about the holidays

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) " Target breezed past Wall Street expectations for the third quarter and with the crucial holiday season fast approaching, it upped its outlook for the year, and for comparable-stores sales as well.

Shares surged more than 5 percent Wednesday before the opening bell.

Target earned $608 million, or $1.06 per share, for the three months ended Oct. 29. That compares with earnings of $549 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding certain items, earnings were $1.04 per share. That's well above the 83 cents per share that analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research called for.

Selling, general and administrative expenses and depreciation and amortization expenses fell in the quarter.

Revenue for the Minneapolis-based company declined to $16.44 billion from $17.61 billion, hampered partly by the removal of pharmacy and clinic sales. Still, it topped the $16.32 billion that analysts surveyed by Zacks predicted.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer's health, edged down 0.2 percent. This figure includes excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Target now anticipates full-year adjusted earnings in a range of $5.10 to $5.30 per share. Previously it predicted earnings between $4.36 and $4.76 per share. Analysts are looking for earnings of $4.95 per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Target Corp. now foresees fourth-quarter same-store sales down 1 percent to up 1 percent. Its prior outlook was for the metric to be down 2 percent to flat. The chain predicts a fourth-quarter adjusted profit of $1.75 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expect a profit of $1.60 per share.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on TGT at https://www.zacks.com/ap/TGT

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Keywords: Target, Earnings Report, Priority Earnings

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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