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Target, Kohl’s See Profit, Sales Climb

From Associated Press

Target Corp. on Thursday reported a 78% jump in fiscal third-quarter earnings on strong revenue growth and the sale of its Mervyn’s chain, but the nation’s second-largest discounter just missed analyst estimates and predicted tough holiday sales comparisons.

The news was more upbeat at Kohl’s Corp., which said its profit increased 19% in the quarter ended Oct. 30 and that it was “well positioned” for the holidays. The company said new clothing brands and stores in California sparked the biggest sales gain in five quarters.

Minneapolis-based Target earned $537 million, or 60 cents a share, up from $302 million, or 33 cents, in the same quarter last year. The results included $203 million, or 23 cents a share, from the sale of Mervyn’s, which closed during the quarter. Without the Mervyn’s sale, earnings would have been 37 cents a share, a penny short of expectations of analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

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Revenue was $10.9 billion, up 11% from $9.8 billion last year. Sales at stores open at least a year grew by 4.5%.

Target predicted that it might be tough to pass last year’s fourth quarter, when the company still included Marshall Field’s and Mervyn’s.

Its shares fell 11 cents to $50.77 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Kohl’s, which operates 637 stores, reported third-quarter net income of $143.8 million, or 42 cents a share, matching analysts’ forecasts. Sales rose 15% to $2.74 billion from $2.39 billion.

In the quarter last year, Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Kohl’s earned $121.2 million, or 35 cents a share.

Kohl’s shares rose $1 to $53.20 on the NYSE. The quarterly results were released after the close of trading.


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