Why Target Was One of the Best Retailers in Q1

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) released its fiscal first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Wednesday. The retailer said that it had $1.53 in earnings per share (EPS) and $17.63 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates of $1.43 in EPS and $17.50 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, the company said it EPS of had $1.32 on $16.78 billion in revenue.

Total revenue increased 5.0% year over year, reflecting sales growth of 5.1% combined with a 0.5% increase in other revenue.

During the quarter, comparable sales grew 4.8%, driven by a 4.3% increase in comparable traffic. Comparable digital sales grew 42% — on top of 28% last year — contributing 2.1 percentage points to comparable sales growth.

Looking ahead to the fiscal second quarter, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $1.52 to $1.72 and comparable sales growth in the low- to mid-single digits. Consensus estimates call for $1.59 in EPS and $18.17 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Brian Cornell, board chair and chief executive of Target, commented:

Target had an outstanding first quarter, as our team delivered a great experience for our guests and drove strong growth in traffic, comparable sales, operating income and earnings per share. Over the last two years we have made important investments to build a durable operating and financial model that drives consumer relevance and sustainable growth. Target’s first quarter performance and market-share gains demonstrate that the model is working. Throughout this year, we will continue to extend the reach of our same-day fulfillment options, strengthen our portfolio of owned and exclusive brands, remodel and open more stores and invest in our team. We’re confident that we’re well-positioned to deliver strong financial performance in 2019 and beyond.

Target is not one of the retailers closing the most stores.

Shares of Target were last seen up almost 8% at $77.59, in a 52-week range of $60.15 to $90.39. The consensus price target is $86.60.