Retailer Target Corp. said that third-quarter earnings fell 4%, and that its board has authorized a new US$10 billion share buyback program that at current prices would cover 20% of its outstanding shares. Target said the buyback would be funded partially by additional debt.
The company's third-quarter earnings fell to $483 million, or $0.56 per share, from $506 million, or $0.59 per share, in the prior year. Quarterly sales grew 9% to $14.84 billion, from $13.57 billion in the third quarter of 2006. Quarterly same-store sales increased 3.7%. For the first nine months of the year, Target earned $1.82 billion, or $2.11 per share, up 9% from $1.67 billion, or $1.92 per share, during the same period last year. Revenue rose 9.3% to $43.5 billion, from $39.78 billion a year ago.