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Same-store sales were up 1.9 percent at Target Corp. for the third quarter of its 2015 fiscal year, at the high end of the company’s expectations.
Meanwhile, Q3 adjusted earnings were 86 cents per share, above the midpoint of the company’s guidance. And in addition to that good news, digital channel sales increased 20 percent, contributing 0.4 percentage points to comparable sales growth, and comparable sales in signature categories (style, baby, kids and wellness) grew more than 2.5 times faster than the company average.
“We’re pleased with our third quarter financial results, as both sales and adjusted earnings per share were near the upper end of our expectations,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target. “The third quarter marked the fourth consecutive quarter in which we have grown traffic, and Target’s sales growth continues to be led by our signature categories."
"Our momentum is encouraging, especially in the face of stiffer prior-year comparisons. Our results highlight the benefit of a consistent, company-wide focus on our key strategic priorities, and that focus will continue to position Target well in the months and years ahead," Cornell continued. "As we look forward to the fourth quarter, our team is focused on strong execution throughout the holidays, and we are confident in our merchandising and marketing plans as we enter the most critical season of the year.”
Q3 sales increased 2.1 percent to $17.6 billion, up from $17.3 billion last year, reflecting a 1.9 percent increase in comparable sales combined with sales from new stores.
Net earnings from discontinued operations were $73 million in Q3, compared with after-tax losses of $174 million last year. Q3 earnings from discontinued operations reflect tax benefits related to investment losses in Canada.
The company returned $1.3 billion to shareholders in Q3, representing more than 270 percent of net income from continuing operations.
Minneapolis-based Target Corp. operates 1,805 stores.