Target Corporation (TGT), the operator of general merchandise and food discount stores in the United States, recently posted better-than-expected sales results for the five-week period ended April 3, 2010.
The healthy sales performance was witnessed across its apparel business as shoppers started loosening their purse strings, given the signs of revival in the economy.
The company’s sales were hit hard during the recent economic downturn as cash-strapped consumers focused more on food and essentials rather than discretionary purchases, which usually carry higher margins.
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Target delivered comparable-store sales growth of 10.3% for March, substantially up from a decline of 6.3% in the same month last year. Year-to-date, comparable-store sales climbed 6.8% compared to a fall of 5.3% in the same period last year.
Target also said that it now projects comparable-store sales for a nine-week period, including actual March and expected April sales, to be up in the range of 3% to 5%.
Net retail sales for March jumped 12.5% year-on-year to $6,233 million, whereas year-to-date, sales rose 9.6% to $10,870 million.
Based on stronger sales results, Target hinted that it now expects its first-quarter 2010 earnings to be approximately 84 cents a share. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is 86 cents, which has shown a substantial improvement (up 16.2%) in the last 7 days.
Target, which currently operates 1,740 stores in 49 states, faces stiff competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT). The company operates through two business segments – Retail and Credit Card.
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