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Feb 25 (Reuters) - U.S. retailer Target Corp reported a stronger-than-expected jump in same-store sales and profits for the key fourth quarter, helped by its expanding online business, and forecast modest earnings growth in the current quarter.
Target said comparable sales at stores open longer than a year rose 3.8 percent in the November-January quarter. That beat its forecast, unveiled last month when it announced plans to pull out of the Canadian market, for a rise of 3 percent.
Adjusted earnings per share, which excludes items including a massive loss related to the Canada exit, came to $1.50 in the fourth quarter. That was above the $1.43 to $1.47 per share range forecast by the company last month.
For the current quarter to end-April, Target forecast adjusted earnings per share of $0.95 to $1.05, up from $0.92 in the first quarter of 2014 and compared with the average analyst estimate of $1.04, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (reporting by Nathan Layne)