Target Company Earnings Overshadowed by Forecast

Target logoTarget Corp. (NYSE: TGT) reported first-quarter 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The big-box retailer posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.05 on $16.71 billion in revenues. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.11 and revenue of $16.54 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.87 and $16.82 billion in revenue.

On a GAAP basis, Target's diluted EPS for the quarter totaled $0.77, which excludes a loss of $0.41 per share related to early repayment of debt, a loss of $0.24 related to the company's Canadian segment and a one-time gain of $0.36 related to the sale of the store's consumer credit card receivables portfolio.

For the second quarter, Target guided adjusted EPS at $1.09 to $1.19. For the full year the company expects to post adjusted EPS of $4.70 to $4.90, a significant drop from the previous guidance of $4.85 to $5.05. The consensus estimates call for second-quarter EPS of $1.06 and full-year EPS of $5.54.

The company's CEO said:

Target's first quarter earnings were below expectations as a result of softer-than-expected sales, particularly in apparel and other seasonal and weather-sensitive categories. While we are disappointed in our first quarter performance, we remain confident in our strategy, and we continue to invest in initiatives, including Canada, our digital channels and CityTarget, that will drive Target's long-term growth.

At the end of the fourth quarter of 2012, Target had forecast EPS for the first quarter at $1.10 to $1.20. The consensus estimate at the time was $1.05, which dropped by 17% over the course of the first quarter. The CEO's disappointment is not as bad as it could have been.

Same-store sales fell by 0.6% in the first quarter, compared with a gain of 5.3% in the same period a year ago. The number of transactions was also down by 1.9%, though the average transaction amount rose by 1.3%. In the first quarter a year ago, transactions were up 2% and the average transaction amount was 3.2% higher.

Gross margins in the United States rose 0.5% year-over-year in the quarter to 30.7%. Gross margin in the company's Canadian segment totaled 33%.

Shares are down 2.3% in premarket trading, at $69.60 in a 52-week range of $54.93 to $71.91. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $73.05 before today's results were announced.


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, Retail, Services Tagged: featured, TGT

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