(Dow Jones) Target reported Wednesday fiscal third-quarter profit and sales that beat expectations, but the stock tumbled -3.81% after the discount retailer provided a less-than-rosy profit outlook for the current quarter and said it expected a "highly competitive" holiday sales environment.
Net income for the quarter to 28 October fell to $480m, or 88 cents a share, from $608 m, or $1.06 a share, in the same period a year ago.
Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to 91 cents, beating the FactSet consensus of 86 cents. Revenue increased 1.4% to $16.67bn, above the FactSet consensus of $16.60bn, as same-store sales growth of 0.9% beat expectations of a 0.4% increase.
Flat fourth quarter sales expected
Comparable traffic increased 1.4%, while comparable digital sales rose 24%. The company expects fourth-quarter adjusted EPS of $1.05 to $1.25, compared with the FactSet consensus of $1.24, and raised its full-year adjusted EPS guidance range to $4.40 to $4.60 from $4.34 to $4.54.
Fourth-quarter same-store sales are expected to be flat to up 2%, surrounding the FactSet consensus for 0.5% growth. Brian Cornell, chairman and chief executive officer of Target, said in a statement that he expected the "fourth-quarter environment to be highly competitive."
The stock has run up 10.6% over the past three months through Tuesday, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) has tacked on 3.1% and the S&P 500 has gained 4.6%.