HomeFinanceTarget stock slips after earnings beat expectations, but Q2 profit view missed

Target stock slips after earnings beat expectations, but Q2 profit view missed

Shares of Target Corp. seesawed to a gain early Wednesday, after the discount retailer reported fiscal first-quarter results that beat expectations and reiterated its full-year outlook, but provided a downbeat second-quarter profit view due to “softening sales trends.”

Net income for the quarter to April 29 fell to $950 million, or $2.05 a share, from $1.01 billion, or $2.16 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding nonrecurring items, adjusted earnings per share fell to $2.05 from $2.19 but beat the FactSet consensus of $1.77.

Total revenue increased 0.6% to $25.32 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $25.26 billion, while same-store sales grew 0.7% to exceed the FactSet consensus for a 0.2% rise, as traffic rose 0.9%.

The stock rose 0.9% in premarket trading, but has swung from a loss of as much as 3.6% to a gain of as much as 2.4% after the results were reported.

“We came into the year clear-eyed about the challenges consumers are facing, and we were determined to build on the trust we’ve established with our guests,” said Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell. “It’s required agility and the ability to flex across our multi-category portfolio as we lean into value and the product categories our guests need most right now.”

Cost of sales declined 0.4% to $18.39 billion, as gross margin improved to 27.4% from 26.7%.

The value of inventory fell 6.5% from the sequential fourth quarter, and dropped 16.4% from a year ago, to $12.62 billion as of April 29.

“[W]e now expect shrink will reduce this year’s profitability by more than $500 million compared with last year,” said CEO Cornell. “While there are many potential sources of inventory shrink, theft and organized retail crime are increasingly important drivers of the issue.

Looking ahead, Target said it was planning for a wide range of sales outcomes, given “softening sales trends” in the first quarter.

For the second quarter, the company expects same-store sales to be down in the low-single digit percentage range, compared with the FactSet consensus for a 0.1% increase. And adjusted EPS for the current quarter is expected to be $1.30 to $1.70, below expectations of $1.95.

For the full year, Target reiterated its guidance for same-store sales growth of 0.7% and for adjusted EPS of $7.75 to $8.75. That compares with the FactSet consensus for same-store sales growth of 0.6% and for adjusted EPS of $8.36.

The stock has gained 5.3% year to date through Tuesday, while the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR exchange-traded fund

has run up 14.1% and the S&P 500 index

has advanced 7.0%.

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