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Target Fires Up to Higher 1Q Profit

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It was revealed on Wednesday that discount retail giant Target (NYSE: TGT) posted a higher-than-expected first quarter profit, thanks to the warmer weather, plus an early Easter, boosting sales and raising expectations for the full year.

The company is not getting ahead of itself though, with CEO Gregg Steinhafel saying in a statement that he is expecting economic uncertainty to reign supreme for the rest of 2012. It is refreshing to see a boss take a bit of success in his stride and employ a realistic outlook, but still, it has been an undeniably good quarter for the company.

As for the numbers, TGT earned $697 million, or $1.04 per share, in the first quarter ending in April, which is up from $689 million, or 99 cents per share, the previous year.

Those numbers could well have been bigger too, if Target were not currently finalizing plans for its 2013 entry into Canada, essentially an international expansion, which has shaved roughly 8 cents per share from its quarterly profit.

Take out the Canada-related costs, and the adjusted earnings per share of $1.03 beats the analyst estimate of $1.01.

Following the report, TGT raised its fiscal year profit view by 5 cents per share. The company is now looking to bring in between $4.60 and $4.80 per share adjusted and $4.10 to $4.30 GAAP in 2012.

Earlier in May, Target said that sales had gone up 6.1% to $16.54 billion, while total revenue went up 5.9% to $16.87 billion.

Follow me @BCallwood.

Posted-In: Earnings News Retail Sales Best of Benzinga


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