Target's holiday sales fall short of expectations


Target Corp. says its total retail sales for the five weeks ended Dec. 29 edged up 0.8 percent to $10.21 billion from $10.14 billion in the same period last year, the Business Journal reports.

"December sales were slightly below our expectations, as strong results late in the month did not completely offset softness in the first three weeks," Target Chairman, CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a news release.

Meanwhile, the Minneapolis-based retail chain expects fourth quarter 2012 earnings per share will meet or somewhat exceed the low end of our prior guidance. "Looking ahead to 2013, we will continue to focus on profitably growing Target’s market share by combining unique merchandise, convenience, value and an unbeatable guest experience across our stores, online and mobile channels," Steinhafel said.

On Wednesday, a Jefferies analyst downgraded Target to “hold” from “buy” and slashed its price target to $59 from $74, citing soft holiday sales.

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