For the fourth quarter, Target reported total revenue of $22.73 billion, up from $21.29 billion in the year prior quarter. The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based company posted net earnings of $961 million, down 2 percent from $981 million in the year earlier period. Earnings per share in the comparable quarters increased by 2 cents to $1.47 in the most recent quarter, thanks to a lower number of shares outstanding versus Q4 2011. Adjusted earnings, which exclude the $148 million spent on expansion in Canada, were $1.65 per share, outpacing $1.49 last year.
During Q4 2012, Target repurchased about 10.4 million shares of its common stock for an aggregate amount of $645 million.
Wall Street was expecting earning of $1.47 per share on revenue of $22.69 billion. Analysts typically don’t count one-time items, such as the expansion expense.
For the year, Target lost $369 million due to start-up expenses, depreciation and amortization related to its Canadian efforts, a market it expects to enter this year.
“We’re pleased with Target’s fourth quarter performance, particularly in the face of a highly promotional retail environment and continued consumer uncertainty,” said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Target Corporation.
For the full year 2012, Target reported revenue of $73.30 billion, 4.9 percent greater than $69.87 billion in 2011. Adjusted earnings for the year were $4.76 per share, exceeding the top of the range the company guided at the beginning of last year. GAAP earnings for 2012 were $4.52 per share, also topping corporate guidance as well as $2.28 per share earned in 2011.
Same-store-sales increased 2.7 percent across 2012, after rising 3.0 percent in 2011.
At the end of the year, Target owned a total of 1,778 stores, including its general stores, expanded food assortment stores, SuperTargets and CityTarget brands.
Looking forward, Target said it expects adjusted profit for 2013 in the range of $4.85 to $5.05 per share, which doesn’t including 45 cents per share related to its Canadian segment and a net benefit from selling its credit-card receivables to Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD). For the first quarter, the compact see adjusted EPS of $1.10 to $1.20. No revenue guidance was given.
The full year earnings guidance received mixed review by missing some analyst predictions, but exceeding others. Shares dove by more than 3 percent at the opening bell, but have recovered to be down less than one percent at $63.50 halfway through the trading day.