Target’s Booming Digital Business Is Motivating it to Open More Stores

Shares for Target Corp. are jumping in pre-market trading this morning after the company posted first-quarter profits that blew past forecasts as it reaps the rewards of an accelerated omnichannel strategy and popular private label offerings.

As of 7:20 a.m. ET, Target futures were in the green nearly 8% to $77.48. The Minneapolis-based retailer announced today that its Q1 adjusted profits climbed 16% to $1.53 per share, significantly besting the $1.43 per share analysts anticipated.

Revenues, meanwhile, advanced 5% to $17.6 billion, slightly above the $17.5 billion market watchers’ forecasted. Target’s accelerated omnichannel strategy — which has seen the retailer expand options such as buy online pickup in store to leverage stores and drive cohesion— also appears to be bolstering traffic as its comparable sales rose 4.8% during the quarter. Its e-commerce business is also logging blockbuster gains with comparable digital channel sales up 42% — on top of the prior year’s 28%.

“Target had an outstanding first quarter, as our team delivered a great experience for our guests and drove strong growth in traffic, comparable sales, operating income and earnings per share,” said chairman and CEO Brian Cornell. “Over the last two years we have made important investments to build a durable operating and financial model that drives consumer relevance and sustainable growth.

Target’s first quarter performance and market-share gains demonstrate that the model is working.” Looking ahead, Cornell said the firm is working to extend the reach of its same-day fulfillment options, develop its portfolio of private label brands and remodel and open more stores.

For the fiscal year, Target continues to expect a low- to mid-single digit increase in comparable sales and adjusted EPS in the range of $5.75 to $6.05.

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