Target will report earnings before the bell. Here’s what to expect

Business

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A Target department store in North Miami Beach, Florida, on May 17, 2023.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Target will report fiscal third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, as the company tries to claw its way back from a string of disappointing results and high-profile setbacks.

Investors will listen for any signs that the retailer’s sales are turning around as Target gets ready for the crucial holiday season.

Here’s what Wall Street expects for the company for the three-month period, based on a survey of analysts by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $1.48 expected
  • Revenue: $25.24 billion expected

Sales have slowed across the retail industry as consumers feel pain from elevated prices and choose to spend on experiences instead. Yet Target, which sells a heavier mix of clothing, home goods and impulse purchases than some rivals, has been particularly squeezed.

Plus, it has faced its own challenges. Target got blowback for a collection of merchandise for Pride month, a celebration of LGBTQ+ people and issues, that it has sold for more than a decade. It got hit by higher levels of organized retail crime. And it recently shuttered nine stores in major cities, blaming the closures on theft and threats of violence.

The Minneapolis-based company cut its full-year forecast in August, saying it expects comparable sales to decline by about a mid-single-digit percentage and earnings per share to range from $7 to $8.

Target’s stock has suffered as sales stagnate. Shares of the company have fallen nearly 26% this year, with their value cut by more than half since the highs of the Covid pandemic.

In a CNBC interview with Becky Quick that aired earlier this month, Target CEO Brian Cornell said the company’s sales of discretionary goods have declined seven consecutive quarters, in terms of both dollars and units. He said shoppers are buying less clothing and toys, and even fewer groceries.

But he sounded a positive note about the key holiday season. He said the company has seen sales pop around “seasonal moments,” such as Halloween, Mother’s Day and summer holidays — a dynamic that could help as Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Christmas approach.

Home Depot‘s quarterly report Tuesday gave cause for optimism, too. The home improvement retailer predicted year-over-year sales declines, but it said the worst of inflation is over.

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