Target's (TGT) EPS easily topped August's downbeat forecast as the company logged a better-than-feared 0.2% drop in comparable sales and 0.8-percentage-point increase in gross margin. The results "reflect meaningful improvement in our traffic and sales trends," says CEO Brian Cornell. It's welcome news for a company which seemed to hit a pothole by midyear. However, falling comparable sales can hardly be called a win. But TGT is now saying this quarter might show growth, after projecting a 4Q decline in August, and the company also reverses much of the FY EPS-forecast cut made then. Shares jump 6% premarket to $75.75 after seeing a muted-compared-with-other-retailers 3.9% increase for November. Wal-Mart (WMT), which reports tomorrow, rises 0.4%.
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