Target Soars on Earnings Beat

Target’s (NYSE:TGT) earnings topped Wall Street’s estimates, as its sales got a lift from a strong holiday season and store traffic picked up in January.

The big-box retailer has benefited as shoppers look for easy and safe ways to buy groceries and other items during the pandemic. Its 2020 sales grew by more than $15 billion — greater than its total sales growth over the prior 11 years.

In the fiscal fourth quarter, net income rose 66% to $1.38 billion, or $2.73 per share, from $834 million, or $1.63 per share a year earlier. Excluding items, Target earned $2.67 per share, more than the $2.54 per share expected by analysts.

Revenue rose 21% to $28.34 billion from $23.4 billion last year, higher than analysts’ expectations of $27.48 billion.

Comparable sales, a key metric that tracks sales at stores open at least 13 months and online, rose 20.5% compared with a year earlier, as digital comparable sales rose by 118% year over year. That surpassed the 16.8% comparable sales growth that analysts expected.

Target already reported holiday sales, but its online sales gained momentum as Americans received $600 stimulus checks. The extra dollars in consumers’ pockets boosted sales across the retail industry, with sales jumping 5.3% in January, according to a government report.

TGT shares marched ahead $5.13 or 2.8%, to $191.22 in early Tuesday trading.