Target crushes earnings, raises outlook as digital sales boom

Target reported better-than-expected third-quarter results and raised its profit outlook, sending shares surging.

The big-box retailer earned $714 million, or an adjusted $1.36 a share as revenue rose 4.7 percent versus a year ago to $18.7 billion. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting adjusted earnings of $1.19 on revenue of $18.49 billion.

Third-quarter comparable sales rose 4.5 percent year-over-year and comparable digital channel sales grew 31 percent, adding 1.7 percentage points to total comparable sales growth.

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“Our third quarter results are further proof of the durability of our strategy, as we're seeing industry-leading strength across multiple metrics, from the top line to the bottom line,” Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target, said in a statement.

Looking ahead, Target sees fourth-quarter comparable sales growth of 3 percent to 4 percent and adjusted earnings per share of $1.54 to $1.74.

The company now expects full-year adjusted earnings per share of $6.25 to $6.45, up from $5.90 to $6.20. Analysts were expecting full-year adjusted earnings per share of $6.18.

Target shares are up 67.7 percent this year compared to the S&P 500's 24.54 percent gain.