Target Reports Positive Sales Data -- WSJ

By Imani Moise Features Dow Jones Newswires

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (July 14, 2017).

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Target Corp. said rising store traffic helped turn comparable-store sales growth positive for the first time in a year, giving the retailer an early win in its bid to improve stores and lure shoppers with new brands.

The retailer said Thursday it now expects a modest increase in comparable sales in its second quarter compared with prior guidance of a low- to single-digit percent decline.

Target also gave a rosy earnings outlook, citing tax benefits from its supply-chain operations. The company now expects earnings per share to come in higher than prior guidance of 95 cents to $1.15.

Investors welcomed the news from Target and sent shares in the company 3.5% higher to $52.63 in morning trading. Despite Thursday's gains, Target shares are still down 27% so far this year.

The Minneapolis-based company, like retailers industrywide, has been coping with the effects of decades of overbuilding and falling foot traffic as e-commerce becomes increasingly popular.

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Target said earlier this year it plans to invest $7 billion over the next three years on store improvements, new brands and developing its digital and supply-chain capabilities. It also expects to sacrifice about $1 billion of potential profit to lower prices and drive lower-margin digital sales.

Target will report its full second-quarter results on Aug. 16.

Write to Imani Moise at imani.moise@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 14, 2017 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)