Target January Sales Double Estimates

By Matt Egan Retail FOXBusiness

A Target gift card is displayed in a Target store in Fairfax, Virginia, February 4, 2010. January sales at top U.S. retail chains should rebound into positive territory from last year's decline as shoppers redeemed holiday gift cards and retailers ... avoided drastic clearance sales. Retailers ranging from Target Corp to J.C. Penney Co Inc to American Eagle Outfitters Inc will report January sales on Wednesday and Thursday. REUTERS/Stelios Varias (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS) (Reuters)

Discount retailer Target (TGT) beat Wall Street’s expectations on Thursday by posting a 4.3% jump in January same-store sales, doubling growth forecasts from analysts.

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The bullish sales data helped nudge shares of Minneapolis-based Target more than 2% higher ahead of the opening bell.

Boosted by healthy gains across product categories and geographic segments, the company said its total sales increased 5.1% to $4.61 billion in January.

Same-store sales, which measure revenue at stores open for a year or more, climbed 4.3%, compared with forecasts from analysts for just 2.1%.

“January sales were near the high end of our expected low to mid single-digit range, reflecting strong performance in both discretionary and non-discretionary categories," CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement. "Sales trends were healthy throughout the month and across the country.”

Target, which is scheduled to release its quarterly results on February 21, slashed its estimates for fourth-quarter earnings last month.

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Shares of Target received a 2.41% bump from the January results ahead of Thursday’s opening bell.

A slew of other U.S. retailers unveiled mostly upbeat January figures on Thursday, including Costco (COST) and Victoria’s Secret parent Limited Brands (LTD).

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