Target (NYSE:TGT) reported third-quarter earnings before the bell on Thursday, in what was a mixed bag for the chain. For the period ended Nov. 2, Target posted adjusted earnings per share of $0.84, which beat analyst estimates for a $0.63-per-share profit. Factoring in costs related to Target's expansion into Canada, its profit for the quarter was $0.54 per share. Revenue increased 2% to $17.25 billion, up from $16.9 billion in the year-ago quarter. Wall Street was looking for revenue of $17.36 billion in the period.
The retailer's same-store sales were also disappointing. Target's sales at stores open at least a year grew just 0.9% in the third quarter, which is particularly concerning ahead of the all-important holiday shopping period. As a result, Target lowered its full-year earnings guidance. The retailer now expects adjusted earnings of $4.59-$4.69, down from Target's previous forecast of full-year earnings in the range of $4.70-$4.90. The stock was down as much as 4% in early trading on the news.
Target, which operates 1,919 bull's-eye branded stores throughout the U.S. and Canada, is viewed as a bellwether of consumer spending. This is particularly true as investors look to the looming holiday shopping season. Target plans to get a jump on the holidays by opening its stores at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving this year.
Fool contributor Tamara Rutter owns shares of Target. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.