TARGET: We're planning for a 'challenging environment'

Target reported stronger than expected earnings on Wednesday morning, but presented a more downbeat outlook for the rest of the year.

The big box retailer reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.23, well above analyst projections of $1.13. Revenue came in nearly right in line at $16.19 billion against expectations of $16.18 billion. Meanwhile, sales disappointed slightly, falling -1.1% in comparable stores against expectations of just a -1% slide.

The company, however, presented a dour outlook for the rest of the year with guidance down in a number of major categories. Target now expects full year earnings per share of between $4.80 a share and $5.20 per share, down from $5.20 to $5.40 per share originally. For the third quarter the firm projects earnings of $0.75 to $0.95 per share, below analyst expectations of $0.96.

Additionally, the company lowered their projection for second half comparable store sales to be flat to down -2.0% compared to the same time period last year.

“Looking ahead, we remain focused on our enterprise priorities as we continue to see the benefits of investing in Signature Categories, store experience, new flex-format stores and digital capabilities,” said Brian Cornell in an earnings release.
“Although we are planning for a challenging environment in the back half of the year, we believe we have the right strategy to restore traffic and sales growth over time.”

Following the news, Target’s stock slid just over 5% in pre-market trading to $71.51 per share as of 7:55 a.m. ET.

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