Target March Sales Down as Expected, Beat Estimates

The company reported a 5.5 percent decrease in same-store sales, which was expected due to the Easter holiday being later this year, but the decrease was smaller than what analysts projected.

As expected, Minneapolis-based Target Corporation's sales declined in March due to when Easter falls this year, but the decrease was less than what analysts projected.

Same-store sales-sales at stores open for at least a year and an industry barometer-declined 5.5 percent in March, less than the 6.5 percent decrease expected by analysts who Thomson Reuters polled.

Net retail sales for the five weeks that ended April 2 totaled $5.96 million, a decrease of 4.5 percent from $6.23 million in the same period last year.

The company expected sales to be down from last year because the Easter holiday is later this year and caused pre-Easter sales to move from March into April. Because of the shift, the company expects “mid-teen” increases in April same-store sales.

Minneapolis-based Target-which operates a retail segment and a credit-card segment-now serves customers at 1,755 stores in 49 states nationwide and on its Web site. It is Minnesota's second-largest public company based on its revenue, which totaled $67.4 billion in its most recently completed fiscal year.