Target Corp. (Minneapolis) announced at the end of last month that its earnings per share increased nearly 20% in the first quarter of this year over its first-quarter 2006 earnings. Net earnings for the quarter ended May 5, 2007 were $651 million, or 75 cents per share. At the close of the first quarter of 2006, net earnings were $554 million, or 63 cents per share. (All earnings-per-share figures refer to diluted earnings per share.)
Total revenues in the first quarter increased 9.2% to $14.041 billion from $12.863 billion in 2006. This jump reflects a 4.3% increase in comparable-store sales combined with contributions from new store expansion and credit-card operations.
Earnings before interest and income taxes in the first quarter of 2007 increased 18% to $1.2 billion, compared with $1.017 billion in the first quarter of 2006. The company cites improvement in both gross-margin and expense-rate performance, combined with strong profit growth in credit-card operations, as key contributors.
"We are pleased with the strength of our first-quarter results in both our core retail and credit-card operations," stated charman and CEO Bob Ulrich in a press release. "Our overall performance reinforces our confidence in our ability to continue to generate profitable market share growth for the full year 2007 and many years to come."