Target Shares Jump Nearly 20 Percent On Second-Quarter Profit Beat

Popular retailer Target posted its second-quarter earnings report, this week, beating every Wall Street forecast and sending its shares soaring.  Quarterly profit skyrocketed 17 percent, largely getting a boost from in-store pickup and same-day shipping. And that also helped to raise the company’s outlook on the year. 

Specifically, sales at stores that have been open for at least one year jumped 3.4 percent, in this quarter alone.  This also beat analyst expectations.  In addition, Target said that same-day fulfillment services—which includes order pickup, drive-up purchases, and same-day delivery via Shipt—all contributed to 1.5 percent of same-store sales growth, overall. 

These positive notes helped to bump Target shares up 19 percent:  to more than $100 per share, which is a record high. The retailer reached its previous intraday high of $90.39 on September 10, 2018.   For the second quarter (ending August 3), here are the comparisons against analyst expectations: 

  • Earnings per share of $1.82 vs $1.62
  • Revenue of $18.42 billion vs $18.34 billion
  • Same-store sales growth of 3.4 percent vs 2.9 percent

Of course, Target is just one of many big-box retailers who are trying to thrive in a world—and at a time—when the traditional retail model is struggling to survive.  Everyone is competing with the massive reach and same-day home delivery convenience of the likes of Amazon, which has forced even the most successful retailers to invest in websites and shipping.  But Target is also, apparently, confident that many shoppers will be more than happy to pickup their orders at a local store, especially when it beats waiting for home shipping. 

All this in mind, Target CEO Brian Cornell commented, “These options offer speed, convenience, and reliability. And as a result, they’re quickly becoming the fulfillment choices for our guests. And most importantly, because these options leverage our existing in-store infrastructure, technology and teams, same-day fulfillment delivers outstanding financial performance as well.” 

And the numbers speak for themselves:  profits are up 17 percent, to $938 million—or $1.82 per share—versus $799 million—or $1.49 per share—from the year prior.  This is 20 cents better than what was expected.  In addition, total revenue grew 3.6 percent, to $18.42, beating last year’s $17.78 billion and estimates of $18.34 billion. 

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