May 22, 2019 / 11:19 AM / 3 months ago

Target quarterly results trounce estimates on higher online sales

(Reuters) - Target Corp’s same-store sales and profit for the first quarter beat Wall Street estimates on Wednesday, benefiting from higher online sales and an increase in shoppers at its stores, sending its up nearly 8% in early trading.

A newly constructed Target store is shown in San Diego, California May 17, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Target has been spending more to shore up its same-day delivery with services like Shipt and Drive-up in a bid to better compete with online giant Inc and brick-and-mortar rival Walmart Inc.

“Over the last two years we have made important investments to build a durable operating and financial model...,” Chief Executive officer Brian Cornell said.

“Target’s first quarter performance and market-share gains demonstrate that the model is working.”

Comparable-store sales rose 4.8%, beating analysts’ average estimate of 4.18% rise, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Target said comparable digital sales grew 42% in the quarter, with the same-day delivery services contributing to over half of the sales growth.

Store traffic also grew 4.3% in the quarter.

The company’s net earnings rose to $795 million, or $1.53 per share, in the first quarter ended May 4, from $718 million, or $1.33 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn $1.43 per share.

Total revenue rose 5% to $17.63 billion and topped expectations of $17.52 billion.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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