A 2.9% third quarter same store sales increase and the sale of its credit card business pushed Target’s third quarter profit up 17.6% to 96 cents a share.
Total sales increased 3.4% to $16.6 billion in third quarter due to the 2.9% comp increase and the benefit of a net increase of 18 stores compared to the prior year. Target ended the period with 1,781 stores and was up against a challenging prior year comparison when comps advanced 4.3%.
"We’re pleased with Target’s third quarter financial performance, which reflects superb execution across each of our business segments," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president, and CEO of Target. "We are well-positioned to deliver strong fourth quarter performance by offering compelling merchandise and unbeatable value through initiatives like the Target/Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection, 5% REDcard Rewards and our new Holiday Price Match which allow our guests to shop at Target with confidence throughout the holiday season."
Earnings per share increased 17.6% to 96 cents from 82 cents, but that figure includes a 15 cent benefit from the pending sale of the company’s credit card receivables portfolio and expenses related to next year’s entry into Canada. On an adjusted basis, excluding the impact of expenses related to Canada, earnings per share increased 4.3% to 90 cents from 86 cents.