Target shares jumped 5.1 percent to $57.11 in premarket trading
after the retailer said second-quarter traffic increased more
than 2 percent.
Like other retailers, Target has been struggling to boost
traffic amid changing consumer habits and competition from
e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O>. Target shares are down
25 percent since the start of the year, widely lagging larger
rival Wal-Mart <WMT.N>, whose stock is up 17 percent.
In its latest turnaround bid, Target vowed this year to double
the number of small-format stores, invest heavily in e-commerce,
aggressively promote its products and keep grocery prices low to
compete with Wal-Mart, Amazon and Kroger Co <KR.N>.
Moody's retail analyst Charlie O’Shea said since Target's share
repurchases for the quarter "slowed to a trickle," it will give
the retailer the cash to execute its transition plan.
The scope of Target's transition plan made it difficult to
compare the retailer's performance to prior quarters, he added.
Sales at stores open more than 12 months rose 1.3 percent, above
the 0.7 percent growth expected by analysts polled by research
firm Consensus Metrix.
Excluding items, Target earned $1.23 per share in the quarter
ended July 29, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.19,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose 1.6 percent to $16.43 billion, above the average
analyst estimate of $16.30 billion.
(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru and Richa Naidu
in Chicago; Editing by Martina D'Couto and Jeffrey Benkoe)
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