Target Shares Soar on Earnings Beat and Growth in Traffic

On Wednesday, Target stock surged after the giant retailer posted unprecedented growth in its foot traffic at stores, along with revenue, profit and sales at comparable stores during the second quarter that surpassed expectations of analysts.

The retailer added that its digital sales had skyrocketed by over 40% during the same quarter, because of that momentum Target raised its full year earnings outlook.

CEO Brian Cornell said Target was seeing a huge response from the consumer through the unprecedented foot traffic in its stores.

Shares of Target were up over 5.5% in early Wednesday trading and hit an all-time high for intraday of $88.89.

Target has focused on reinvesting in the business since it outlined a strategy in the beginning of 2017 to put over $7 billion into growing its online platform, bulking up its number of in-house brands, remodeling existing stores and opening of new stores that are small format.

The Target CEO said the investments are paying off. The retailer reported the strongest sales growth in same-stores it has seen in the last 13 years.

A healthy economy in the U.S., rebounding confidence amongst consumers and all time low unemployment has been benefiting retailers such as Target and its biggest rival Walmart.

Walmart posted earnings a week ago that topped Wall Street expectations, driving up shares of its stock by over 9% in one day of trading.

Revenue at Target was up 7% from $16.63 billion during the same period one year ago to $17.8 billion. Target said sales of its home goods exceeded expectations, while electronics and apparel were two categories with the best results for the quarter.

Sales at Target locations opened for 12 months or more grew by 6.5%, which was better than the expected 4% increase and the strongest growth in same-store sales for target in the last 13 years.

Target expects its adjusted per share earnings to be $5.30 to $5.50 during 2018, in comparison to a prior estimate of $5.15 to $5.45 per shares for its fiscal 2018.

Like most other retailers, Target is up against higher costs of transportation amidst rising prices of fuel and a lack of truck drivers across the U.S. Some uncertainty remains around the possibility of more tariffs from the White House that could push up prices of goods for consumers.

Target announced that same-day delivery is available in over 1,100 locations in 160 markets.

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