Home Target Q4 Earnings Lag but Comps Inch Up
February 28, 2023

Target Q4 Earnings Lag but Comps Inch Up

Posted In: Retail Articles

Although it produced mixed results, Target still did better in the fourth quarter than Wall Street expected.

For the fourth quarter, Target recorded net earnings of $876 million, or $1.89 per diluted share, the company noted, versus $1.54 billion, or $3.21 per diluted share, in the 2021 fiscal period. Adjusted for one-time events, earnings per share were $1.89 per diluted share versus $3.19 per diluted share, in the year-before quarter.

An analyst consensus estimate published by Yahoo Finance anticipated adjusted earnings per diluted share of $1.40 and revenues of $30.72 billion.

Comparable sales increased 0.7% in the quarter year over year, driven entirely by an advance in guest traffic. Target stated. Sales were $30.98 billion and total revenues were $31.4 billion versus $30.62 billion and $31 billion in the year-previous quarter, respectively. Operating income was $1.16 billion versus $2.1 billion in the year-prior quarter.

For the full year, net earnings were $2.78 billion, or $5.98 per diluted share, the company maintained, versus $695 billion, or $14.10 per diluted share, in fiscal 2021. Adjusted earnings per share were $6.02 versus $13.56 in the year before.

Comps increased 2.2% in the full year with comparable traffic up $2.1%, Target reported. Net sales were $107.59 billion and revenues were $109.12 billion versus $104.61 and $106 billion in the year previous. Operating income was $3.85 billion versus $8.95 billion in the year prior.

Target pointed out that same-day services including in-store pickup, drive-up and Shipt, which represent more than 10% of total sales, gained 4.3% in the quarter.

Inventory at the quarter’s end was 3% lower than at the same point in fiscal 2021, despite an increase in early receipts compared with the year past. Inventory in discretionary categories was 13% lower than it was a year ago, partially offset by higher inventory in frequency categories.

In announcing the financial results, Brian Cornell, Target chairman and CEO, said, “We’re pleased that our business delivered comparable sales growth in the fourth quarter, in what continues to be a very challenging environment. Strength in Food and Beverage, Beauty and Household Essentials offset ongoing softness in discretionary categories. This performance highlights the benefit of our multi-category merchandise assortment, which drives relevance with our guests in any environment, and is a key reason we grew traffic every quarter last year

Cornell said looking forward to the year ahead, “we’re focused on executing our long-term strategy, including continued differentiation through affordability, assortment, ease and convenience. At the same time, we’re planning our business cautiously in the near term to ensure we remain agile and responsive to the current operating environment. We’re pleased that we entered the year in a very healthy inventory position, reflecting our conservative approach in discretionary categories and our commitment to reliability in our frequency businesses. As we plan for the year ahead, we will continue to make robust capital investments and pursue efficiency opportunities in support of our long-term growth.”

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