Target's Stock Jumps After Raising Sales, Profit Outlook

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Target Corp. shot up 5.2% in premarket trade after the discount retail giant said it now expects a surprise "modest increase" in same-store sales for the fiscal second quarter, citing improved traffic and sales trends. The FactSet consensus was for a decline of 1.2%. The company said it now expects adjusted earnings per share "above the high end" of its previously provided guidance of 95 cents to $1.15, compared with the FactSet consensus of $1.06. Target said adjusted EPS are expected to include a tax benefit of 5 cents to 9 cents. "Following better-than-expected results in the first quarter, we've seen additional, broad-based improvement in traffic and category sales trends in the second quarter, despite continued challenges in the competitive environment," said Chief Executive Brian Cornell. The stock has tumbled 29.6% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has lost 11.4% and the S&P 500 has climbed 9.1%.

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