November 19, 2014 / 1:12 PM / 3 years ago

Target Corp quarterly sales beat estimates

Nov 19 (Reuters) - Target Corp, the fourth-largest U.S. retailer, reported better-than-expected quarterly sales, helped by a 1.2 percent rise in same-store sales in the United States.

Target shares rose 3.4 percent to $69.78 premarket.

Last week Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the largest U.S. retailer, reported its first rise in U.S. same-store sales in seven quarters, helped by the drop in gasoline prices.

Target now expects adjusted earnings of $3.15-$3.25 per share for the year ending January, compared with its previous forecast of $3.10-$3.30 per share.

The company has had to resort to price cuts to attract cash-strapped consumers and win back customers unsettled by a huge holiday-season data breach last year.

Target's net income rose to $352 million, or 55 cents per share in the third quarter ended Nov. 1, from $341 million, or 54 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 54 cents per share.

Total sales rose 2.7 percent to $17.73 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $17.56 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Last year's breach resulted in the theft of at least 40 million payment card numbers and 70 million other pieces of customer data.

The company said on Wednesday it had incurred net breach-related expenses of $158 million so far, including $12 million in the third quarter.

Up to Tuesday's close, Target shares had risen 6.7 percent this year. (Reporting by Nathan Layne and Sruthi Ramakrishnan; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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