An increase in store traffic was cited by Target officials as a key factor in the retailer’s second quarter sales gain.
Total sales increased 1.6% to $16.4 billion, which includes a 1.3% increase in comparable store sales combined with the benefit from sales in non-mature stores. Comparable digital channel sales grew 32% and contributed 1.1% points to comparable sales growth.
Segment earnings before interest expense and income taxes (EBIT), were $1.1 billion in the second quarter of 2017, a decrease of 10.3% from $1.2 billion in the second quarter of 2016. Target’s GAAP earnings per share from continuing operations were $1.22, an increase of 14.2% from second quarter 2016. Second quarter adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations were $1.23, an increase of 0.1% from second quarter 2016.
“We continue to focus on our long-term strategy, as we work to transform every part of our business and build an even better Target that will thrive in this new era in retail,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target. “While our recent results are encouraging, we will continue to plan prudently as we invest in building our brands, our digital channel, the value we provide our guests and elevating service levels in our stores.”
Looking ahead, Target expects that both third quarter and fourth quarter 2017 comparable sales growth will be within the range the company experienced in the first and second quarters of 2017. Target’s first quarter comparable store sales were down 1.3%. The company expects its full-year 2017 comparable sales growth will be in a range around flat, plus or minus 1%.