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Target September revenue figure jumps

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[October 07, 2011]  MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Target Corp. said Thursday that sales of groceries, beauty products and clothing helped fuel a 5.3 percent September rise in revenue at stores open at least a year.

The better-than-expected results pushed the discount retailer's shares almost 3 percent higher.

Results mirrored other retailer reports on Thursday. Many reported strong revenue gains for September, capping a solid back-to-school shopping season. But uncertainty remains about how consumers will spend during the crucial winter holidays.

Results were "somewhat" above Target's own expectations, said CEO Gregg Steinhafel in a statement.

"We experienced strong sales results throughout the month and across a broad array of merchandise categories," he said.

The discount retailer says shoppers spent more at Target and more browsers were converted into buyers during the month.

Target has been expanding its low-price and fresh grocery products, and groceries were one of the biggest sellers during the month. Beauty products and clothing were also strong sellers.

Analysts were expecting revenue in stores open at least one year to rise a smaller 3.9 percent, according to a Thomson Reuters poll. The measure is considered a gauge of a retailer's financial health.

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The Minneapolis retailer says total revenue during the five weeks ended Oct. 1 rose 6.5 percent to $5.92 billion from $5.56 billion last year.

The company predicts October revenue in stores open at least one year will rise in the low- to mid-single digit percentage range.

Shares rose $1.44, or 2.9 percent to $51.20 in morning trading Thursday.

Target operates 1,767 stores across the U.S.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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