Target Corporation Reports First Quarter Earnings

*First quarter comparable sales grew 10.8 percent, driven by a 12.5 percent increase in average basket, as guests made fewer, bigger shopping trips.
*Store comparable sales increased 0.9 percent. Digital comparable sales grew 141 percent, accounting for 9.9 percentage points of Target’s comparable sales growth.
*Digital comparable sales accelerated every month in the quarter, from 33 percent in February to 282 percent in April.
*Stores fulfilled nearly 80 percent of Target’s first-quarter digital sales.
*Same-day services (Order Pick Up, Drive Up and Shipt) grew 278 percent and accounted for approximately 5 percentage points of total Company comparable sales growth.
*The Company saw healthy market-share gains across all five of its core merchandise categories.
*First quarter GAAP EPS from continuing operations were $0.56, and Adjusted EPS1 were $0.59. This performance reflected hundreds of millions of dollars of incremental team member pay and benefits and investments to protect the health and safety of guests and team members.

Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) today announced its first-quarter 2020 results, which reflect the impact of rapidly-evolving shopping patterns and significant investments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Company reported GAAP earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations of $0.56 in first quarter, compared with $1.53 in 2019. First quarter Adjusted EPS were $0.59, compared with $1.53 in 2019. The attached tables provide a reconciliation of non-GAAP to GAAP measures. All earnings per share figures refer to diluted EPS.

“Throughout the first quarter, our team and guests faced unprecedented challenges arising from the spread of COVID-19. In the face of those challenges, our team showed extraordinary resilience as guests relied on Target as a trusted resource for their families. With our stores at the center of our strategy, and a significant investment in the safety of our team and guests, our operations had the agility and flexibility needed to meet the changing needs of our business,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and chief executive officer of Target Corporation. “With the dedication of our team, the benefit of a sustainable business model and a strong balance sheet, we are confident Target will emerge from this crisis an even stronger retailer, with higher affinity and trust from our guests.”

Fiscal 2020 Guidance
On March 25th, the Company withdrew its first quarter and full-year guidance given the unusually wide range of potential outcomes as a result of the highly fluid and uncertain outlook for consumer shopping patterns and government policies related to COVID-19. As a result of continued uncertainty, the Company did not provide second-quarter or updated full-year guidance.

Operating Results
The Company’s total comparable sales grew 10.8 percent in the first quarter, reflecting comparable digital sales growth of 141 percent. Total revenue of $19.6 billion grew 11.3 percent compared with last year, reflecting sales growth of 11.3 percent and a 7.7 percent increase in other revenue. Operating income was $468 million in first quarter 2020, down 58.7 percent from $1,135 million in 2019.

First quarter operating income margin rate was 2.4 percent in 2020 compared with 6.4 percent in 2019. First quarter gross margin rate was 25.1 percent, compared with 29.6 percent in 2019. This decrease reflected the net impact of actions taken by the Company’s merchandising teams, including costs and inventory impairments related to the rapid slowdown in Apparel & Accessories sales, unfavorable category mix as guests stocked up on lower-margin categories like Essentials and Food & Beverage, and higher digital and supply chain costs, driven by unusually strong digital volume as well as investments in team member wages and benefits. First quarter SG&A expense rate was 20.7 percent in 2020, compared with 20.8 percent in 2019. First quarter SG&A results reflected higher compensation costs, including investments in wages and benefits, which were more than offset by the net impact of other factors, including leverage from strong sales growth.
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