By Colin Kellaher

 

Target on Wednesday posted fiscal third-quarter earnings that easily surpassed Wall Street's forecasts, helped by inventory and expense management initiatives, and the retailer gave holiday earnings guidance that brackets expectations.

The Minneapolis company reported earnings of $971 million, or $2.10 a share, for the quarter ended Oct. 28, up from $712 million, or $1.54 a share, a year earlier, and ahead of the $1.47 a share that analysts polled by FactSet, on average, were expecting.

Revenue fell 4.2% to $25.4 billion, just ahead of the $25.29 billion Wall Street was looking for, while comparable sales fell 4.9%, better than the 5.3% drop analysts had penciled in.

Target said its inventory at the end of the quarter was down 14%, including a 19% reduction in discretionary category inventory.

Ahead of the crucial holiday selling season, Target said it expects fourth-quarter earnings of $1.90 to $2.60 a share and comparable sales in a wide range around a mid-single digit decline. Analysts are expecting a profit of $2.23 a share amid a 4.7% drop in comparable sales, according to FactSet.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 15, 2023 06:45 ET (11:45 GMT)

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