In a season dotted with notable earnings misses among retailers, Target bucked the industry trends by reporting strong earnings on Wednesday, its bottom line lifted by brisk apparel and home goods sales as well as intensive cost-cutting.
The retailer reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.22 for the second quarter, beating analyst forecasts of $1.10 and the company’s own expected range of $1.04 to $1.14. Target’s stock rose 4 percent before falling into negative territory in morning trading at $79.49 on the news.
The company also said it would raise its annual outlook to earnings of $4.60 to $4.75 a share, compared with a previous forecast of $4.50 to $4.65 a share.
Sales at stores open for at least a year grew 2.4 percent, in line with company’s expectations. Online sales jumped 30 percent, contributing 0.6 percentage point to the sales increase, Target said.
The retailer’s cost-cutting drive appeared to be bearing fruit. Under Brian C. Cornell, who became chief executive last August, Target has embarked on an effort to save $2 billion over two years from corporate revamping, leaner supply chains and more efficient product sourcing.
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