Target Warns Q1 Profits Will Fall Short of Forecast

Target Warns Q1 Profits Will Fall Short of Forecast

Target is now expecting its adjusted first-quarter earnings to be slightly below what it previously projected, but it remains confident in its full-year forecast.

Target Corporation announced Tuesday that its first-quarter adjusted profits will likely come in below its previously announced expectations, due to slow sales in “seasonal and weather-sensitive categories.”

The Minneapolis-based retail giant now estimates that adjusted earnings for the quarter, which ends in April, will be slightly below “the low end” of its predicted $1.10 to $1.20 per share. Target expects its same-store sales, meanwhile to be essentially flat for the quarter.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect Target to report adjusted earnings of $0.97 for its first quarter, according to Fox Business.

After announcing its lowered quarterly forecast, shares of Target’s stock fell by 1 percent to $67.70 Tuesday morning; however they bounced back to $68.20 by mid-afternoon. The company expects to report its full first-quarter financial results on May 22.

Target is now expecting adjusted earnings to decrease from last year’s first quarter, when the company reported earnings of $1.11 per share, which marked an 11.5 percent increase from $0.99 in 2011.

Target’s adjusted earnings for its most recent quarter, which ended in February, totaled $1.65 per share, down 10.1 percent from $1.49 per share during the same period in 2011.

Target is standing by its projected fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings of $4.85 to $5.05 per share. Analysts meanwhile, are expecting Target’s full-year adjusted earnings to reach just $4.57 per share.

Target’s full-year projection would mark an improvement from fiscal 2012, when adjusted earnings were $4.76 per share, up 7.9 percent from $4.41 per share in 2011.

Target is Minnesota’s second-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $71.9 billion for the fiscal year that ended February 2—up 5 percent from the prior year. It operates 1,808 stores—1,784 in the United States and 24 in Canada, a country it just entered in March. The retailer plans to open 124 Canada stores this year.