U.S. retailer Target Corporation today reported earnings per share for the third quarter ended November 2, 2002 of U.S. $0.30, compared with $0.25 before an unusual item in the third quarter ended November 3, 2001. The unusual item in the prior year's quarter was a pretax charge of $67 million, or $0.05 per share, related to the impact of restoring securitized accounts receivable to financial statements.
Third quarter net earnings this year were $277 million, compared with $185 million, or $0.20 per share including the unusual charge, in 2001 (all earnings per share figures refer to diluted earnings per share).
"We are pleased with our third quarter results, which reflected growth in pretax profit at all three divisions - especially given our relatively soft sales performance during the quarter," said Bob Ulrich, chairman and chief executive officer of Target Corporation. "For the fourth quarter, our outlook for earnings growth is modest in light of last year's strong performance. Importantly, we expect to deliver strong earnings growth for 2002 overall and we remain confident that we will continue to generate average annual earnings per share growth of 15 percent or more over time."
Total revenues in the third quarter increased 9.3 percent to $10.194 billion from $9.331 billion in 2001, driven by an 11.8 percent revenue increase at Target Stores. Comparable-store sales for the third quarter 2002 increased 0.1 percent. (Total revenues include retail sales and net credit revenues. Comparable-store sales are sales from stores open longer than one year.)
For the quarter, pre-tax segment profit increased 19.5 percent to $623 million, compared with $522 million in the third quarter 2001. Pre-tax profit at Target Stores increased $93 million, or 21.2 percent. Pre-tax profit at Mervyn's increased $5 million. Pre-tax profit at Marshall Field's improved by $3 million (pre-tax segment profit is earnings before LIFO, securitization effects, interest, other expense and unusual items).
Target operates large-store general merchandise formats, including discount stores, moderate-priced promotional stores, and traditional department stores, as well as a direct mail business and the target.direct online business. It operates 1,476 stores in 47 states.
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