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Target's Q4 Earnings Down Slightly

27 Feb, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

Target Corp. Feb. 27 reported fourth-quarter earnings of $961 million, down 2% from the same quarter in 2011 ($981 million), despite a nearly 7% increase in sales to $22.4 billion.

“We’re pleased with Target’s fourth-quarter performance, particularly in the face of a highly promotional retail environment and continued consumer uncertainty,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target. “Outstanding discipline and execution by our team allowed us to achieve our full-year financial and strategic goals in 2012.”

Target saw weaker-than-expected Black Friday holiday sales, especially in electronics and gaming.

“Though we fell short of our overall sales goal for the fourth quarter, we were pleased that we grew comparable store sales in four of our five merchandising categories,” said Kathryn Tesija, Target’s EVP of merchandising, said during a conference call with investors. “Fourth-quarter comparable store sales in hard lines declined in the mid-single-digit range and were softest in electronics. Many more electronics categories are in mature stages of the product cycle, and during the holiday season, electronics constitutes the primary battleground where competitors engage in their most irrational promotions.”

For the full fiscal year 2012, ended Feb. 2, Target posted a profit of nearly $3 billion, up 2.4% year over year, on sales of $72 billion, up more than 5% year-over-year.

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