Target May Sales Up, Beat Wall Street

Same-store sales were up 4.4 percent this month, representing a more significant jump than the 3.5 percent increase expected by analysts and “at the high end” of the company’s expected range.

Target Corporation’s sales increased in May and beat Wall Street expectations.

The Minneapolis-based retailer said Thursday that its same-store sales—sales at stores open at least a year and an industry barometer—rose 4.4 percent. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a 3.5 percent jump.

Target Chairman, President, and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said that the same-store sales “were at the high end of our expected range.”

Meanwhile, net retail sales for the four weeks that ended May 26 totaled $5 billion, representing a 5 percent jump from the same period last year.

On news of the retailer’s strong May performance, shares of its stock were trading up almost 1 percent at $58.28 mid-day on Thursday.

Earlier this month, Target reported a boost in first-quarter sales and earnings, which prompted it to raise its full-year earnings outlook.

Earnings totaled $697 million, or $1.04 per share, for the quarter that ended April 28, up 1.2 percent from the same period a year ago. First-quarter revenue, meanwhile, totaled $16.5 billion, up 6.1 percent from $15.6 billion in 2011.

In light of the first-quarter results, Target boosted its earnings outlook by 5 cents and now expects per-share earnings in the range of $4.60 to $4.80. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Target’s full-year earnings to total $4.28 per share.

Target is Minnesota’s second-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $69.9 billion during the fiscal year that ended in January. The company currently operates 1,764 stores throughout the United States, and it will expand into Canada next year.