Although analysts were expecting sales at stores open at least 12 months to rise an average of 3.3 per cent, according to Thomson Reuters Same-Store Sales Index. There were plenty of headwinds including mild winter weather and high levels of unemployment that retailers grappled with during December.
The results were a mixed bag, with retailers such as Macy’s, Limited and Zumiez, posting solid results and raising their earnings forecast. But the results were different for others such as discounter Target, which fell short of analysts’ expectations and cut its outlook for the fourth quarter.
Target said same-store sales rose 1.6 per cent, far short of the 3.1 per cent average analyst estimate from Thomson Reuters. As a result of its weak sales, Target cut its fourth-quarter earnings estimate to a range of $1.35 to $1.43 a share, from a prior estimate of $1.43 to $1.53 a share.