Target Posts Better-Than-Expected 1Q Results, Lifts View


Target (NYSE:TGT) beat Wall Street views on Wednesday with a 1.2% increase in first-quarter profits, prompting the discount retailer to bolster its full-year guidance above forecasts.

Shares of the Minneapolis-based company ticked higher in the wake of the numbers.

Target said it earned $697 million, or $1.04 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $689 million, or 99 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned $1.11 a share, surpassing forecasts from analysts by 10 cents.

Revenue jumped 5.9% to $16.87 billion, topping the Street’s view of $16.85 billion. Retail same-store sales increased 5.3%, while U.S. credit card receivables fell 6% to $6.1 billion.

“We’re very pleased with our first quarter earnings, which benefited from better-than-expected sales,” CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement.

Looking ahead, Target upgraded its 2012 non-GAAP EPS view to $4.60 to $4.80, which compares favorably with expectations from analysts for EPS of just $4.28.

For the current quarter, Target is eyeing an adjusted profit of $1.04 to $1.14, well above the Street’s view of 99 cents.

“While our outlook for the remainder of 2012 reflects continued economic uncertainty, we are confident in our strategy,” Steinhafel said.

Shares of Target jumped 2.01% to $56.19 Wednesday morning in response to the earnings beat and rosier guidance. They had been up 7.5% on the year as of Tuesday’s close.