Target Posts Solid February Sales - Analyst Blog

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Target Corporation ( TGT ) posted strong sales results for the four-week period ended February 25, 2012. The company registered an increase of 7% in comparable store sales for February 2012 compared with a rise of 1.8% in the prior-year period.

As per management, the company's February sales surpassed the company's expected growth range, reflecting an increase in average transaction size coupled with a rise in comparable store transactions. The results were driven by strong performance of food, beauty and health care products.

Moreover, in terms of performance, Target remained at par with its peer Costco Wholesale Corporation ( COST ), which also witnessed an increase of 8% in comparable store sales during the period under review.

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Target Corporation announced that net retail sales for February increased 8% to $5,132 million from $4,750 million reported in the prior-year period.

Earlier, Target posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2011 results on the back of healthy sales. The company delivered quarterly earnings of $1.49 per share that topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.39 and rose 8.3% from $1.38 earned in the prior-year quarter.

On a reported basis, including special items, earnings came in at $1.45 per share, in line with the year-ago quarter.

Total revenue for the quarter climbed 3% to $21,288 million from the prior-year quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $21,250 million. Retail sales grew 3.3% to $20,937 million as shoppers are gradually opening up their wallets despite being cautious.

Target projects adjusted first-quarter 2012 earnings between 97 cents to $1.07 per share. For Fiscal 2012, earnings are expected to be in the range of $4.55 to $4.75 per share.

Further, the company expects an increase of 4% in comparable store sales for the first quarter of 2012, with an increase of low-to-mid single digits in March.

Currently, Target holds a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold recommendation. However, considering the fundamentals, we have a long-term Neutral rating on the stock.

COSTCO WHOLE CP ( COST ): Free Stock Analysis Report

TARGET CORP ( TGT ): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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